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Meat Goes Local

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Everyone is familiar with local produce. It's nice to see a retailer taking the concept one step further and bringing local to the meat case.

Weis Markets, the 156-store chain based in Sunbury, Pa., has introduced Pennsylvania Proud Choice Angus Beef to a select number of stores in the state. The full line of hand-carved roasts, steaks, tenderloins and ground beef is aged a minimum of 20 days. The grain-fed cattle come from farms operating in three counties.

weis.jpg"Last year alone, we purchased more than 19 million pounds of produce from local Pennsylvania producers," said Norman Rich, CEO of Weis Markets, during an in-store event introducing the Angus products. "Our Pennsylvania Proud Choice Angus Beef is the logical extension of our commitment to buying and selling Pennsylvania's best products."

While other retailers operate similar programs, using proprietary specs for feed and marbling, Weis claims it's the first retailer in the country to offer customers a local beef program (it's the state's first branded Pennsylvania Angus program — period). Right now, 53 Weis stores merchandise the line, with stores to be added as more farms are signed up.

To make the most of the moment, Weis invited other local food companies that participate in the "PA Preferred" program promoting foods made or processed in the state. They included: Wilbur Chocolate, Utz snack foods and Berks Packing Company, among others. That's how Weis does local — let's hope all retailers have the same commitment.

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