Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
NCDA&CS continues work to help growers who supplied restaurants and other institutions make connections with grocery stores.
A few weeks ago, we talked about bulk chicken truckload sales happening across the state. Those are continuing, which has been good for consumers and for poultry processors alike.
Staff with our Marketing Division continues to help facilitate these sales, including ones in Western North Carolina.
Through May 2, there have been 114 truckload sales, which has moved over 4.5 million pounds of poultry.
We have even hosted some sales at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, the Bob Martin Ag Center in Williamston and the Southeastern Ag Center in Lumberton.
We have links up on our COVID-19 page to the companies who are having these chicken sales. You can find it at www.ncagr.gov.
Our grocery stores have done a tremendous job working to keep pace with increased consumer demand and I commend them for their ability to increase distribution in the wake of a sudden and sharp consumer shift.
We know that prior to the implementation of COVID-19 social distancing rules, restaurants sales accounted for around 50 percent of food purchases.
Consumers began eating at home more and shifted a good portion of their food purchases to grocery stores.
The sales will hopefully help meet ongoing needs for protein.
Our Marketing Division is also working with produce growers who may have lost their markets due to COVID-19. If you still have markets for your products, this program is not designed as an additional market.
Growers can fill out an online survey to share what produce they have available. Our staff will compile this information and share it weekly with our retail partners.
We’re kind of being a matchmaker between the grower and the grocery store, trying to find a home for more local produce.
If a grower needs help filling out the online form, our marketing specialists will be happy to help. You can call at 919-707-3123 for assistance. Again, that is 919-707-3123.
And, just a reminder, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. I know COVID-19 is messing up a lot of plans, but you still have time to do something special for mom.
Many North Carolina wineries are shipping products, check your favorite local restaurants to see if they are offering special family meals. A number of nurseries and florists also offer no-contact pickups or deliveries, or look for local, fresh cut flowers at farmers markets and roadside stands.
There are a lot of good ways to let Mom know she is loved.