Making Farm to School a Reality for Florida

Palm Beach, Florida – Localecopia Marketplace, one of the original local foods aggregators, has partnered with Florida-based school child nutrition purchasing program cooperative P.O.W.E.R. Buying Group and, their primary awarded foodservice distribution partner US Foods, to provide many of the thirty-one Florida school districts around the state with seasonal fresh Florida produce.

This partnership connects the dots between Florida agriculture and schools by delivering produce grown within the 67 counties of Florida.   The streamlined supply chain will have the potential to serve some 1,000 schools with over 620,000 children.  This is in addition to the school districts, hotels and restaurants that Localecopia Marketplace currently serves.

During the course of the 2017-2018 school year, school foodservice operators will have over 100 Florida-produced items offered to purchase.   A streamlined supply chain helps to provide Florida growers with a fair value for their products while providing school districts with a price point meeting their strict budgetary guidelines.  Schools will also have the ability to know the exact source of their produce.  School foodservice operators will be providing fruits and vegetables that, in some cases, will be served within 1-2 days of harvest.

Localecopia, Inc. / Localecopia Marketplace, L3C President – Geoffrey Sagrans,

“Since 2007, Localecopia has championed the local foods movement around the state of Florida. We are very excited to enter into this new partnership with both the P.O.W.E.R. Buying Group and US Foods.  This relationship supports Florida agriculture, provides fresh produce to children, creates transparency not typically seen in the food supply chain, and makes our endeavor the largest farm to school program in the country.”

P.O.W.E.R. Buying Group, Executive Director – Linda Wiley,

“P.O.W.E.R. Buying Group welcomes the opportunity to work with both Localecopia and USFoods to support Florida agriculture by purchasing fresh products from local farmers at competitive prices and offering Florida students the taste and quality benefits of fresh-from-Florida produce.  Certainly a win-win partnership.”

US Foods,

“US Foods is proud to participate in this innovative partnership with the P.O.W.E.R. Buying Group and Localecopia, “ said US Foods Florida School Team spokesperson.  “This relationship further enhances our commitment to sourcing and distributing quality product and we look forward to a successful partnership.”

 

About the partners: 

P.O.W.E.R. Buying Group – School child nutrition program purchasing cooperative named Purchasing Organization with Educational Results (PBG).  Members include 31 of the 67 district nutrition programs in Florida.   The cooperative serves over 1,000 schools serving 140 million meals per year.

US Foods – US Foods is one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed.  With nearly 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations, US Foods provides its customers with a broad and innovative food offering and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology and business solutions.  US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and generates approximately $23 billion in annual revenue.

Localecopia, Inc. / Localecopia Marketplace, L3C – Formed in 2007, Localecopia, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization focused on the promotion of local, sustainable business.   The non-profit promotes local organizations through meetings, monthly newsletters and outreach.  The 501c3 also provides education and community outreach through the Localecopia Lecture Series.  In 2010 Localecopia Marketplace, L3C was created to perpetuate the non-profit mission by providing Florida-produced products to Florida consumers.