Today, the first deliveries of local produce were delivered through our direct store delivery program hit stores, but the work to get the trucks moving started on Monday.
Top quality fruits and vegetables from farms around New England will be delivered three times a week to Hannaford Supermarkets in Massachusetts, select Chartwells managed foodservice kitchens, including Northeastern University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Roche Brothers Supermarkets, and other independent grocers and universities throughout the region.
Red Tomato’s innovative non-asset delivery model brings produce from farms to store shelves within 72 hours of harvest, giving shoppers the benefit of local produce without having to make an extra trip. Red Tomato works with a network of small and mid-sized family farms and coordinates with existing distribution companies to ensure that local produce remains affordable for shoppers and that farmers receive a fair price.
Western Massachusetts grower Wally Czajkowski of Plainville Farm is an important part of the process, consolidating product from several other farms and preparing orders to be shipped. Wally and his employees are enthusiastic about the partnership and the growing amount of local produce they are able to supply. They’ve named a section of their packing shed the “Red Tomato Room” to accommodate the local squash, beans, and other products will move across their dock each week throughout the season. “When we’re in full swing every minute is valuable and we are so happy that the folks at Red Tomato can help us in marketing our crops” remarks Wally.
Deliveries of over 200 different varieties of produce will continue until mid-November. Items will vary seasonally; summer staples such as lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, and apples will be available.
Last year Red Tomato marketed over $5 million of fresh produce from local farms, and Executive Director Laura Edwards-Orr says “we’re hoping to support more farms and reach more consumers this year. Nothing is as fresh and great tasting as just-picked produce.”
Coverage on the PerishableNew.com