Safeway Launches Campaign to Promote Locally Grown Produce
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Initiative Focuses on Quality, Freshness and Convenience at Competitive Prices PLEASANTON, Calif.--(Business Wire)-- Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) today launched a campaign to significantly increase its focus on locally grown produce. The initiative is designed to draw customer attention to the company`s wide selection of locally grown produce including the quality, freshness and sustainability benefits of the product. "Nearly a third of Safeway`s produce comes from local sources. In California, that number is even greater, roughly 45 percent," said Geoff White, Group Vice President of Produce. "This new initiative will direct our customers to our extensive selection of premium-quality, locally grown produce at competitive prices." The commitment to local produce means that shoppers can find more local produce per item than at a typical farmer`s market. Safeway`s "Locally Grown" campaign will highlight partnerships with local farmers such as G&S Farms of Brentwood, California, a grower of sweet corn and green beans, and Fitzgerald Orchards of Tyro, Virginia, which has supplied East Coast Safeway stores with apples for nearly 60 years. Safeway will give purchasing preference to these and other key local growers to meet customer demand. In addition, Safeway will provide local produce premier in-store placement with attractive "Locally Grown" promotional signs that highlight specific growers in the region. Safeway will require its local vendors to meet the company`s strict safety and quality standards for planting, growing, harvesting, handling and transporting. Before produce reaches the store, Safeway conducts multiple inspections for quality, flavor and appearance. The product will be competitively priced, giving Safeway customers the best value for their money. "For more than 30 years we have partnered with Safeway to bring fresh, superior-quality corn to consumers in Northern California," said G&S Farms owner Glenn Stonebarger. "Doing so gives us an important channel to reach a broad cross-section of consumers who will have an opportunity to experience the freshness and quality long associated with the G&S Farms brand." In addition to the quality benefits, buying locally grown fruits and vegetables reduces greenhouse emissions by limiting transportation miles. Sourcing locally ensures the vitality of local farms, which translates into economic opportunities and development for a broad range of related businesses in the communities Safeway serves. Safeway`s in-store campaign will include a range of material including "locally grown" reference maps that will geographically show the location of key local farmers as well as point-of-sale material that will tell the story of Safeway`s local farmers. ABOUT SAFEWAY www.Safeway.com Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,739 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $44.1 billion in 2008. The company`s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2008 donated more than $248 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, hunger relief and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. Safeway is also one of the largest retail purchasers of renewable energy, using 90,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy, enough to power all 324 Safeway retail fuel stations, all stores in San Francisco, California and Boulder, Colorado, as well as the company headquarters and all corporate offices in Northern California. Safeway was the first major retailer to join the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world`s first and North America`s only legally binding GHG allowance trading system, and the California Climate Action Registry, which commits the company to reduce its carbon footprint by 6 percent from year 2000 levels. Safeway Inc. Teena Massingill, 925-467-3810 Copyright Business Wire 2009
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