Sweet Grown Alabama, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting products grown and made in Alabama, has received a grant to track the number of local products purchased by grocery stores in the state.
Partners in data harvesting operation include Greer’s Markets in South Alabama with 17 Alabama stores; Piggly Wiggly Birmingham Group with 13 stores; Renfroe’s Markets in Central Alabama with six stores; WM Grocery in East Alabama with four stores; and Mitchell Grocery Corporation in North Alabama with 30 corporate stores.
Sweet Grown Alabama relayed that once sufficient data has been collected, it will be shared with Alabama producers to help them make the right decision for their operation.
The grant was made possible by the United States Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
Sweet Grown Alabama says that financial incentives will be provided to stores in return for the local procurement data.
“Through this grant program, we hope to make buying local products even easier for our grocery members. We know buying local takes a bit more money and effort, but the economic benefit it brings to our state outweighs the challenges,” remarked Sweet Grown Alabama Director Ellie Watson.
The stores participating in the grant-funded data gathering program will be listed online in Sweet Grown Alabama’s searchable database and receive the rights to use the Sweet Grown Alabama logo on ads and certain materials sold in store.
“Piggly Wiggly is locally owned and we are always seeking local and regional products to bring to market,” said Andy Virciglio of Piggy Wiggly Birmingham Group. “Our stores welcome locally sourced products and our customers trust Piggly Wiggly to bring the best. Sweet Grown Alabama helps us do just that.”