Locally grown movement takes Heartland by storm

09/18/2009 02:10:13 PM
Bob Luder

Of course, in Iowa, sweet corn is a local-grown favorite.

“It’s almost a sort of symbol of recognition,” said Gene Loffredo, president and chief executive officer of Loffredo Fresh Produce Co. Inc., Des Moines, Iowa. “There’s just something about an Iowa ear of corn. Unfortunately, (the local grown season) doesn’t last long. But we definitely see a loss in retail business when home grown comes on. People just can’t wait for the season to come.”

As much as the locally grown movement has grown and spread over the previous few years, it’s still a market that’s under-supplied for the demand, said Anthony Totta, a produce consultant who owns Grow My Profits LLC in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

“There’s some nice quality produce produced in Missouri and Kansas, but it’s hard for retailers to contract totally with them because there’s not enough supply,” Totta said. “It’s growing, and it’s becoming more sophisticated. The challenges now are how to become consolidated and distribute it.”


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