Sysco Kansas City adds GAP label to locally-grown product

Olathe, Kan.-based foodservice supplier Sysco Kansas City is emphasizing its marriage of locally grown and food safety with new labels.

All boxes of the company’s Missouri- and Nebraska-grown vegetables now feature a sticker with a GAP (good agricultural practices) seal, said Pat Cipolla, director of produce marketing. The stickers were introduced in late August.

Sysco Kansas City started its local program four years ago. All of the company’s suppliers must be GAP-certified, Cipolla said.

The company’s main locally grown supplier, a Mennonite community in Rich Hill, Mo., is believed to be the first Mennonite grower community in the country to achieve GAP certification.

Sysco sells more and more local product every year, and that trend will only continue in its current direction, Cipolla said.

“We haven’t even really scratched the surface yet,” he said. “I get more calls on locally-grown than on anything, especially this time of year.”

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