10% Campaign signs grocery store chain

33 N.C. stores pledge to source more local foods

Piggly Wiggly, “America’s first” self-service grocery store has added another first to its list: the first grocery store to pledge to buy more foods from local producers as part of its commitment to the 10% Campaign.

The 10% Campaign is an effort of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, that encourages consumers to spend 10 percent of their food dollars on foods produced in North Carolina. Launched last year, the campaign partners with N.C. Cooperative Extension, providing local food coordinators in every county.

Preston Taylor owns and manages two Piggly Wiggly stores in Onslow County. Taylor and other Onslow County business leaders learned about the 10% Campaign at a chamber of commerce meeting organized by Onslow County Cooperative Extension Agent Larry Kent.

Taylor told Jacksonville Daily News reporter Suzanne Ulbrich that his decision to participate in the campaign was “a no-brainer.” Taylor then presented the campaign to the other store owners in the Eastern North Carolina ad group and received unanimous support.

“We’ve committed to do our best to buy 10 percent of our produce needs locally, which will help local farmers and the local economy as well,” Taylor told Ulbrich. Taylor also expressed hope that he will soon be able to source local meats as well.

Teisha Wymore, coordinator of the 10% Campaign laughed when she learned of Taylor’s “no brainer” comment.

“We felt exactly the same way,” she said. “Piggly Wiggly serves many of North Carolina’s rural communities, a primary focus for us. They are known for buying local foods and have been doing it for years.”

The 10% Campaign is supported by a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The campaign launched in July of 2010 with 31 business partners. Today, 265 businesses and 3,090 individuals are participating.

All Piggly Wiggly stores are independently owned and operated; there are 33 stores in North Carolina.

CEFS is a partnership between North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Its mission is to develop and promote food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond.

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