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There are a couple of stories this morning that suggest the degree to which fresh fruits and vegetables are taking new routes to get to stores and consumers…

The Danbury News Times reports on how "farm-to-fridge delivery services are the newest concept in online grocery delivery, bringing farm fresh products to your doorstep without your having to change out of your pajamas.

"Think farmer's market meets Peapod.

"Benefiting farmers and customers alike, these companies give small-time farmers another outlet to sell their goods and put farmers' products in the hands of those who wouldn't otherwise make the drive to the farms themselves."

One example: "Graze … was developed in 2010 by Julianna Doherty, of Vermont along with Christy Colasurdo, of Westport. Between produce, meat, dairy and cheese, Graze works with upwards of 35 to 40 farms in Vermont … Starting with 30 weekly customers in Fairfield County in 2010, Graze has expanded to include Metro West communities of Boston, Vermont, and Westchester a weekly base of 450 to 500 customers per week."

Meanwhile, Crain's New York Business has a story about a Whole Foods in Brooklyn that has leased rooftop space to Gotham Greens, which is "not only running the first greenhouse on top of a supermarket, but the company also asserts that it has the only commercial rooftop greenhouse in the entire country. It is also the fastest-growing greenhouse company in the city using hydroponics instead of soil to grow crops. It harvested its first tomatoes, lettuces, basil, bok choy and kale a couple of weeks ago."

The story goes on to say that "the Brooklyn-based urban farmer is taking the locavore movement to a new level by growing produce year-round like competitors in California, where New York gets a big chunk of its produce. Local farmers are quick to point out that a typical shipment from the West is already a week old by the time it hits store shelves in New York … Gotham Greens' customers include FreshDirect, D'Agostino, Dean & DeLuca, Key Food and Westside Market." And, the company says, it has been profitable since day one.
KC's View:
I think this is all interesting, and while I don't think the produce world is going to change overnight, there is some evidence - including what Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is doing with its "Sesame Street" marketing initiative - that a new level of momentum is being achieved for this industry.