Amy’s Kitchen S.C.-manufacturing facility looks to WNC farmers to supply organic produce

Amy’s Kitchen S.C.-manufacturing facility looks to WNC farmers to supply organic produce-attachment0

Amy’s Kitchen, one of the nation’s largest prepared organic food producers, announced last May that it would invest $63 million in the development of an East Coast facility in Greenville, S.C., and generate about 700 jobs over the course of six years, according to the Greenville (S.C.) Small Business Development Center.

The impact of that investment is now being felt in Western North Carolina. Local farmers will be gathering the morning of Monday, Nov. 28, to meet with John Aselage, Amy’s organic purchasing manager. The meeting is being hosted by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and North Carolina Cooperative Extension

The new facility in Greenville, SC. is projected to begin operating in the summer of 2012. According to the meeting organizers, Amy’s is very interested in sourcing local organic products to be used in the Greenville plant. Aselage will discuss Amy’s Kitchen’s standards for production and processing, and procedures for getting into the company’s supply chain.

The meetng is open to growers (organic, transitioning or growers interested in organic), processors, researchers, crop consultants and those interested in organic food production in the region. For information about the meeting, contact Karen McSwain at 828-423-2463 or email karen@carolinafarmstewards.org. 

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism.

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