Locally grown fresh produce demand strong in Baltimore region

08/01/2011 10:17:00 AM
Dan Gailbraith

Acknowledging the demand for local produce, Sal Cefalu, vice president of Jessup-based G. Cefalu & Bro. Inc., said food safety practices become a concern.

Local produce grown in the Mid-Atlantic typically runs from June through the region’s first freeze, which normally strikes in October.

“We can’t get enough of it,” said Gus Pappas, president of Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. Washington, D.C.

“Everyone wants local produce. Retailers are doing more merchandising of it and most of the year, demand exceeds what products are available.”

Pappas sources greenhouse product. He said many growers are constructing hothouses so they can offer local produce throughout the year.

The Tony Vitrano Co., Jessup, has in the past sourced some regional produce, primarily from New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, but in recent years has increased its offerings, said Tony Vitrano, president.

He said the distributor handles more of the product now because of customer demand.


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