Our customers increasingly want to know where our food comes from, who produces it, and how it gets to their plate. The ability to provide specialty and seasonal products from small to midsized producers is important to many of our customers— both large and small. Locally sourced products— including produce, meats, cheese and other products— help to differentiate our customers’ offerings, satisfy demands for new products, and support local communities.
All Sysco Broadline locations source products from local suppliers. Many local Broadline operating companies identify local producers using brochures and other online tools and also offer unique touchpoints to help customers know more about the source of their food, such as farm tours.
FreshPoint, our specialty produce company, has made great strides since 2014 in making sourcing local produce easy for our customers. With no industry standard definition, "local" means different things to different people. As a result, FreshPoint developed an online tool that enables customers to “define their own local” within a distance they choose with the ability to sort by crop or growing method. They are also the first to the market with an active local database and reporting capabilities. FreshPoint developed a national database of local farms covering a full range of products including fruits, vegetables, and other specialty items that enables us to share information with our customers about the people that grow their food and the communities where they live and work.
FreshPoint’s Local Foods Advisory Committee of more than 50 ambassadors, explores best practices to support further development of its local food program and enhance its overall effectiveness.
"It's just cheese," supplier Ed Gordo says in Sysco Cleveland's "Looking for Local" video series.
While the farm to table movement may be relatively young, some of our local suppliers have been in business a very long time.
Some of Sysco's local suppliers lead the industry in sustainable practices.
Calcagno Family Farms, a four-generation old, family-run grower, packer and shipper of more than 30 organic and sustainably grown fresh market vegetables near Portland, Oregon, has embraced sustainable farming methods for more than 50 years.
FreshPoint San Francisco's Local Program partners with the Bay Area's Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign, Community Alliance with Family Farmers and Growers Collaborative Bay Area to support family owned and operated farms that practice sustainable agriculture.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
While transporting small amounts of product from multiple locations can be more expensive and less efficient than using a more centralized supply chain, we work with local producers to help them integrate their products into our supply chain efficiently and safely.
We hold all of our suppliers to the same high food safety standards. Partnering with the Produce Marketing Association since 2011, we have delivered 21 Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) workshops, educating more than 1,200 small farmers about how to integrate GAP requirements into their operations.
We also connect small family farms with processors and support organizations that can help them obtain appropriate insurance and meet other Sysco supplier requirements. Through universities and local extension offices, we help provide GAP audits to small local growers at a reduced rate.
Explore the Supplying Food Responsibly Section
- About Our Supply Chain
- Local Sourcing
- Reducing Food Waste
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Animal Welfare
- Sustainable Seafood
- Social Compliance
The mantra to buy local sounds deliciously simple but raises complex issues. With no industry standard definition, "local" means different things to different people.