“People can relate that farmer to what they buy in the store,” Spezzano said.
In some cases, growers visit stores to answer questions and talk about their wares, Spezzano said.
“They can answer questions about what they do as stewards of the land,” he said. “He may live 50 miles away, but he’s still a neighbor.”
Signage works wonders for sales of local produce at retail, said Ed Odron, owner of Odron Produce Marketing & Consulting, Stockton, Calif.
Rockville, Md.-based retailer Magruder Inc., which has seven stores around the Washington, D.C., area, sources its local product at the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in Jessup, Md., said Mike Patterson, the chain’s produce director.
“They’ve really put together a good package this year of all local growers, letting us know who they are and who they’re buying for,” Patterson said. “We know who the grower is, and we can put that information in our ads.”