Tyler, Texas-based regional grocery retailer Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) hosted its second annual Local Growers Appreciation Luncheon this week, honoring local farmers who supply fresh produce sold in BGC stores throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
A highlight of the luncheon was a speech by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) who discussed the impact of government regulations on local land owners and growers. In addition, Mark Chamblee, state director of District 5 for the Texas Farm Bureau and owner of Chamblee’s Rose Nursery in Tyler, addressed the group, emphasizing the importance of using education, communication and engagement to create a connection between growers and consumers.
The event concluded with Marc Green of G-MC Produce in Henderson, Texas, being named the 2015 Grower of the Year. This award is presented to the grower who best demonstrates ethical business practices, strives to bring innovation to the industry and collaborates with BGC to offer the best quality products at the best value. G-MC Produce items sold in BGC stores include watermelons, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes and peaches.
“We are honored to formally recognize our local growers for all they do to provide our customers with fresh, high quality produce,” said BGC President and CEO Rick Rayford, noting that the company works with more than 50 local growers throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas to supply its stores with millions of pounds of produce annually. “Purchasing locally grown produce positively impacts each community’s economy and ensures our customers get the freshest seasonal produce available.”
In 2014, BGC stores sold more than 15 million pounds of locally grown fresh produce including watermelons, peaches, squash and tomatoes. The company also sold more than 150,000 locally grown plants, including poinsettias for Christmas.
Some 22 growers and their guests attended this year’s appreciation luncheon, which was hosted at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler.
Brookshire Grocery Co. operates 152 stores, three distribution centers and five manufacturing facilities.