SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y Foods hosted a “Native Farmstand” tour last weekend, in which farmers' markets featuring fruits and vegetables grown in Massachusetts and Connecticut were set up outside the entrance of select stores.
Featured farmer John Burney of Meadowbrook Farm, East Longmeadow, Mass., brought sweet peppers, eggplants, squash and more to the event. The markets were held at six Big Y locations in Springfield, Longmeadow, Ludlow and Wilbraham, Mass.
“I would say the consumer is looking for local produce now,” said Burney, who started out selling strawberries to the retailer in the early '80s.
“Big Y truly is committed to buying local produce and has been very good to me as far as helping me expand my local business because of their commitment to buy locally,” he told SN.
In ads promoting the event, Big Y notes that purchasing locally raised foods not only boosts the local economy, it also helps the environment. Reducing “food miles,” or the distance food has to travel, also cuts down the amount of fuel used, and the associated pollution generated by transport.
“Having been grown locally, these fresh products are delivered daily to your neighborhood Big Y to ensure the finest quality and greatest taste,” Big Y states in promotional materials. “Buying locally means helping out globally, and that is important for everyone's future.”