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   Is Wal-Mart The New Local?
by Patrick Yeagle, Illinois Times
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 at 11:54AM EST

As Wal-Mart seeks to rebrand itself as the socially-conscious superstore, the effects of the retail giant’s changes remain to be seen.

At a Nov. 10 press conference in the south Springfield Wal-Mart on Lejune Drive, company representatives announced the store is committed to selling local produce.

“For Wal-mart, health and wellness and being able to provide affordable, locally-grown products and services is a big thing,” said Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio.

Wal-Mart, a multi-national corporation that reported profit of $3.45 billion in 2008, calls itself the largest purchaser of locally-grown produce in the country, estimating that more than 70 percent of its produce is locally grown. In the past two years, the company says it has increased by 50 percent the number of local produce suppliers from which it purchases, with an expected $400 million going to local growers nationwide in 2009.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Illinois Times

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