Large grocery chains such as Whole Foods have jumped on the local food bandwagon by finding niche local food suppliers. But it’s not always easy for these small stores to expand at the rate needed to meet Whole Foods’ unforeseen order sizes. Some local businesses even choose to reject Whole Foods’ requests in fear that their product quality will suffer. But when local businesses do accept the call to the big leagues, Whole Foods is patient with companies trying to meet these large order requests.
Locally grown food also has the attention of the United States government. The USDA has recognized the benefits of supporting startup organic chicken farmers. They have provided grants and loans to new farmers in hopes of promoting sustainable prosperity to rural areas. One chicken farmer, Corwin Heatwole, went from 35 employees to 350 in just over two years thanks to the support from the USDA.
These large entities are not just helping the local businesses prosper but are also helping to reduce environmental impact, creating more jobs and boosting local economies.