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Lowes Foods Now Accepting Direct Sales From Produce Farmers

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When you shop for meat and vegetables at Lowes Foods, there’s a good chance the label will tell you if it came from a local farmer, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

A new program allows Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Lowes Foods to buy fresh produce and meats directly from more than 100 small farms in North Carolina. NC Growing Together is facilitating the partnership between the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension and local food hubs. NC Growing Together is a part of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems at NCSU.

“We’re trying to facilitate all kinds of connections,” Rebecca Dunning, NC Growing Together’s program coordinator, tells the Journal. “A food hub might be a producer or a meet aggregator, so food hub has an elastic meaning.”

And instead of just knowing if your produce or niche meat came from a farmer or is organic, the Lowes Foods sticker will let you know which farmer your food came from.

“What the food hub is able to bring to the table is keeping the identity of the farmer intact,” says Dunning.

Before, a producer would have needed to get their food to the Lowes Foods warehouse in Hickory, which many small farmers can’t afford to do. They would have to sell to a broker or a packing house, and everyone along the way gets a cut of what the farmer brings in.

“Now they can actually go to the store, and Lowes allows them to sell directly to the store. There’s a sign in the store that says, ‘Do you farm?’” says Dunning.

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