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Organic Consumers Association

Wal-Mart Highlights Locally Grown Program in Okla.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, has pledged to buy more produce from local farmers as it kicked off a campaign to highlight the fruits and vegetables grown in Oklahoma and sold in its stores.

The Arkansas-based company's 'Locally Grown' program looks to keep prices down for shoppers, support local economies and slice shipping and fuel costs.

Wal-Mart plans to add signs in its stores to point out locally grown produce, and says its partnership with local farmers has grown 50 percent over the past two years.

Even without the added fanfare, shoppers already can purchase locally grown foods in neighborhood Wal-Marts. Some examples from Oklahoma include corn from Bixby, blackberries from Yale and mushrooms from Miami, said Angela Stoner, the company's senior public affairs manager.

The campaign was launched Wednesday at a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the city's south side, where Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor and state officials spoke in front of a display of peaches grown in nearby Porter. The orchard sells its peaches in more than two-dozen Wal-Mart stores.

Full Story: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gdiiuec8GOKnjprGyhkyzmx
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