Locally Produced Wholesome Food
At A&B Produce we see sustainability as a way to promote locally produced wholesome food that benefits both the farmer and the consumer. We define local as any food produced in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including the seven counties adjacent to Santa Clara County. Although these counties do not produce many food items year round, they do provide substantial amounts of products during their particular growing seasons. We will find, track, and procure these products at their peak harvesting time and to provide these “local” products to our customers as a viable, cost effective supply source while at the same time supporting the need for environmentally sound and protective food sources.
As seasons come and go, so do production areas in reference to the Bay Area. In winter we look farther away to fulfill our supply needs and in summer we look closer for our supply areas. We as a produce company understand the geographical constraints of supply on our needs and it is our job to educate our customers on those issues and to work with them to develop procurement plans that take into account these issues of supply. Cost is a huge factor when examining the importance of sustainability. Although many of our customers want to participate in the use of sustainable products in their operations, they have to be especially aware of the cost involved in participating in this sustainable business model.
Local produce, when in season, is often a very cost effective supply chain for foodservice customers. The closer the product is, the less money and time it takes to get it from field to market. This can include conventional and organic products. Our proven strategy for promoting environmental stewardship while controlling cost has always been honesty. We are upfront and honest with our customers when we discuss availability and cost considerations while planning procurement and menu needs. With market information and real pricing information, we can show our customers how certain items are better suited for purchase than other items. We can work with different foodservice facilities to develop wholesome, healthy menus that are at the same time cost effective.