I spoke with reporter Peter Korn for some time about his Aug. 24 article 'Stores snub local farmers' and feel that several important points were left out.
My company, Organically Grown Co., has had a very different experience with Fred Meyer than some of the conventional growers.
Our company was selected as a Fred Meyer consolidator. It has given us the opportunity to coordinate production from numerous small- and medium-size growers that we then deliver to Fred Meyer.
The Fred Meyer merchandisers and management have been very encouraging and supportive of our efforts.
Recently, Fred Meyer ran a six-item organic ad in the paper. All six items were from regional Northwest growers, and the growers involved were thrilled by the ad volume and what it meant to their farms. Fred Meyer's support of our growers has been crucial to many of our farms' success.
Our relationship with New Seasons and Jeff Fairchild (New Seasons director of produce) goes back to the early '80s (at that time, he worked for Nature's Northwest, as did many current New Seasons employees).
Fairchild always has been a true partner with our regional farms and is one of the biggest local advocates you will ever find. We coordinate production with Fairchild and New Seasons' Chris Harris each winter - they both work diligently to promote our farms.
Many of us in the organic and natural food movement don't have a lot of pity for farmer Don Kruger's plight. Our company advocates for organic growers, and we put our money where our mouth is.
Kruger finds it easier to use chemical fertilizer, but many of our stores and consumers want organically grown products. We don't consider Kruger's beans to be our problem.
New Seasons is fair to local farmers
We at Liepold Farms grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, blackcaps, boysenberries and a variety of tree fruits.
Our partnership with New Seasons has truly moved us into the realm of a local sustainable farm from a struggling-to-stay-afloat local farm.
Some things to know:
• New Seasons easily accommodates deliveries to each store.
• New Seasons pays fair, honest prices for fruit.
• New Seasons is genuinely committed to local farms.
• New Seasons practices what it preaches in helping local farms.
We partnered with New Seasons in 2005 to bring them fresh local berries. Growers need only make prearranged plans with stores to find out what the needs are, how and when produce can be delivered, and how it needs to be packaged.
It is sad when poor preplanning leaves a farmer without a market ('Stores snub local farmers,', Aug. 24) but one cannot blame the retailer, since it also has a business to run, and customers to supply. In the case of this story, the retailer is New Seasons and the customers are us, the local Portland-area consumers.
Reporter Peter Korn could have used any of the big chain stores as the example to find some truth to what he says in the article, but nothing he says pertains to New Seasons.
We are proud to be local farmers, working in the community, providing quality, sustainably produced produce to the Portland metro area for more than 57 years.
We enjoy our good relationship with the New Seasons stores and find them to be fair, honest and good partners.
Shoppers: Vote local with your wallets
This is an open letter to all local farmers.
There are many shoppers like me who only want to eat produce from Oregon or Washington (Stores snub local farmers, Aug. 24). I'm even a little bit leery of California produce.
I went to a good grocery chain recently, and not one can of fruit showed United States or Canada as the country of origin, but rather China, Thailand and others.
The only way to change unhealthy practices is to make them unprofitable. We must support our local farmers.