Northey and Wal-Mart Encourage Iowa Shoppers to "Choose Iowa"

Consumers want Iowa Products, and Wal-Mart supports Iowa vendors.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced yesterdasy at the Jordan Creek Wal-Mart store a partnership between the Choose Iowa program and Wal-Mart, the Iowa Grocers Association, and other area retailers. The promotional program will help producers sell Iowa products. It will help retailers identify, locate and buy Iowa products and help consumers locate Iowa products on the shelves at the store.

"I am very excited for this partnership between the Choose Iowa program and the Iowa Grocers," said Northey. "This program is a tool for Iowa farmers and small businesses to sell there products in a broad based way. It will also make it easier for local and national retailers to identify quality Iowa products."

Also at the announcement were local Iowa producers, including Anderson Erickson, Boysen Brother's Farms, Cotton Gallery, Kramer's Specialty Foods, Summerset Wines, and Wells Blue Bunny, who all supply to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart has a history of helping small businesses grow. Three years ago, Kramer's Salsa was sold in four Wal-Mart stores, now they sell to Wal-Mart stores in 11 states.

"My business would not be where it is today without the support of Wal-Mart," said Linda Kramer, President of Kramer's Specialty Foods. "They have always treated me fairly and respectfully, and as a small businesswoman I am excited to have the opportunity to tell my story."

Summerset Wines sells in 10 Wal-Mart stores and will likely expand to additional stores in Iowa.

"As a growing business I can speak from experience regarding the value of a program like Choose Iowa will have for the small businesses and producers in the state of Iowa," said Ron Mark of Summerset Wines, "It is a great marketing tool and will also make it easier for the retailers-state and national- that have an interest in carrying Iowa produced merchandise."

Bill Werz, Divisional Director of Corporate Affairs for Wal-Mart said, "Wal-Mart is a store of the community to hundreds of Iowa towns and cities. We proudly support Iowa producers and products. Each of our Iowa stores carries a slightly varied product line, but shoppers can find many local products on our shelves and we are continuing to add more."

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