Walmart Puerto Rico announced this week that as part of its efforts to strengthen local agricultural production, it recently signed agreements to buy large amounts of onions and oranges from local farmers.
The mega-retailer purchased 250,000 pounds of onions and 160,000 pounds of oranges that will be available on store shelves throughout Puerto Rico. Farmers who sold these products had surpluses that would have otherwise gone to waste had Walmart not picked them up, the retailer said.
“Walmart firmly believes in promoting local production of all types. The island’s agricultural product is preferred by our customers and in turn helps sustain the local economy,” said Iván Báez, director of corporate affairs at Walmart Puerto Rico.
Walmart’s purchases will support jobs and avoid significant losses in three municipalities. Walmart purchased 125,000 pounds of onions from farmer Carlos González of Guánica and another 125,000 pounds from farmer Eddie Noel Torres of Santa Isabel, and 160,000 pounds of oranges from Felipe Ozonas of Hacienda La Balear in Lares.
“This initiative is possible through market expansion strategies that call for making decisions based on a food chain that allows us to connect the farms with consumers and ensure a truly fresh product,” said Agriculture Secretary Mirna Comas, which mediated in the deals.