GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer  last week announced plans to increase the amount of local produce it sources from Midwest farms by 5% this year. The company's Home Grown initiative involves sourcing and selling more than 75 different fruits and vegetables from 85 different farms near its stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. Counting this year's program growth, nearly one-third of all produce sold by Meijer from May through September is grown on these farms. By building these partnerships, Meijer has become the largest purchaser of locally grown apples in its five-state region. “Working with suppliers in our own backyard allows us to personally inspect items, keep close track of inventory and maintain our high-quality standards,” Mark Stevenson, produce director for Meijer, said in a release. “It's a mutually favorable relationship that benefits everyone, especially our Meijer customers.”
PTI ANNOUNCES WEBINAR SERIES
WASHINGTON — The Produce Traceability Initiative has announced a series of six free webinars geared toward assisting members of the produce industry with implementation of PTI. Speakers will include early adopters of the system. Each webinar will focus on a specific aspect of implementation. A general session, titled “PTI's 5 Ws (and 1 H): Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” will be held on Monday, Aug. 29, and a session on best practices for retailers will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6. Other topics include best practices for packers and shippers, assigning GTINs, case labeling, and hybrid pallet labeling. Additional information and free registration are available at www.producetraceability.org .