Walmart announced Monday it has established a partnership with the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau to enable 100 local farmers to join the trade group whose pursuit is to defend the sector and further agricultural development on the island.
“This is the first time a local retailer joins the Farm Bureau to help farmers grow in the industry and access more points of sale for their products, aside from helping them develop their packaging and presentations,” said Héctor Cordero, entity president.
Through the alliance, the retailer will pay the Farm Bureau membership fees. Walmart will also offer farmers more direct access to its buyers, help them with their business plans, assist them in joining the retailer’s exports program.
“Our commitment to this very important sector for the island’s economic development has always been strong and we have expressed it in various ways over the years,” said Viviana Mercado, corporate affairs manager for Walmart.
“Since establishing the Agribusiness Development Program in 2008, we have contributed to its growth and strengthening through purchases of ever-increasing volumes of locally harvested products to make them available to consumers in our Walmart supercenter, Supermercados Amigo, Super Ahorros and Sam’s Club stores,” she said.
Mercado said 25 percent of the fresh fruit and vegetables sold at the stores are locally sourced. The Agribusiness Development Program has some 350 participating farmers.