Regionally grown concept draws mixed interest - The Packer

Regionally grown concept draws mixed interest

11/13/2009 02:48:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

It’s much more in their hearts that we’re going to support local deals. It’s more than what we see.”

Al Finch, vice president of sales and marketing for Diversified Citrus Marketing, the Lake Hamilton-based sales agency that markets for Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Dundee, said people think of fresher product when they hear local.

“There seems to be more emphasis placed on locally grown commodities for retailers to offer their consumers,” he said. “There is big demand for supporting local agriculture in your state. People deem it fresher and like the idea of supporting their local economies, especially during tough times.”

Finch said Diversified is seeing bigger calls for locally grown product over organically grown produce.

Marketing products as regionally grown isn’t anything new for Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., the fresh division of Oviedo-based A. Duda & Sons Inc.

The grower-shipper, which began operations in Florida and expanded to the West Coast and to other parts of the country, has been building on regional production connections for years, said Jason Bedsole, sales manager of eastern vegetables and citrus.

“The industry is leaning toward and the consumer trend has been increasing on regionally correct and locally grown, so there’s a big emphasis on that currently,” he said. “We are very familiar with regionally correct and locally grown. Based on the way the industry is really pushing it and the consumer trend is leaning, we are well-positioned for that on all of our nationwide items.”

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