Dec 20, 2023
Homegrown Organic Farms shares 2023 display contests winners

Homegrown Organic Farms (HGO), an employee-owned fresh fruit marketer and shipper, has announced the winners of its 2023 in-store display contests at participating Four Seasons Produce stores.

This year, HGO organized two contest promotions for organic stone fruit and organic grapes.

Homegrown Organic Farm logoHomegrown partnered with Equitable Food Initiative, the capacity-building and certification organization, to launch the 2023 organic stone fruit display contest in July and to highlight the role of farmworkers in bringing the product to market.

“Every season, we look forward to our partnership with Four Seasons on the in store display contests,” Stephen Paul, deciduous category director of HGO, said in a news release. “And this year we expanded the program to include an educational element. In collaboration with the EFI team, we provided educational resources to share our story, the ways we Grow with Care, and highlighted how workers care for both the fruit and the earth.”

Brian Dey, senior merchandiser and natural stores coordinator for Four Seasons Produce, said the annual contests call on retailers to get creative with their in-store displays to raise awareness during peak season and promote sales.

“Putting these display contests together is a lot of fun, helps drive sales, increases category movement, and creates a fun atmosphere of selling for the customer,” Dey said in the release. “The stores are excited to participate, and the contests really allow produce managers and staff to show off their creative flair and help connect the consumer to where and how their fruit is grown.”

This year, the team added striking point-of-sale and banner signs created by Homegrown, as well as quick-response codes to access more information. The goal was to drive consumer understanding that purchasing EFI-certified fruit supports a commitment to workers, food safety and the environment, and that with every purchase, a bonus is being paid directly to workers. This was the second year that Four Seasons Produce participated in the EFI worker bonus program, having contributed more than $10,000 to date.

Nearly 60 stores competed in the display contests and three winners were named in each of the category.

ORGANIC STONE FRUIT: DISPLAY CONTEST WINNERS

Largest display

  • 1st place: Lexington Cooperative Market
  • 2nd place: Monadnock Food Co-op
  • 3rd place: Common Co-op

Most creative display

  • 1st place: Weaver Markets
  • 2nd place: River Valley Co-op
  • 3rd place: Battleboro Food Co-op

ORGANIC GRAPES: BEST SMALL STORE DISPLAY WINNERS

The month following the stone fruit display contest, Homegrown organized a second content to highlight its organic grapes and added the Best Small Store Display category. The winners of their organic grape display contest include:

Largest display

  • 1st place: Kimberton Whole Foods
  • 2nd place: Leg Up Farmers Market
  • 3rd place: Honest Weight Food Co-Op

Most creative display

  • 1st place: Weaver Markets
  • 2nd place: Brattleboro Food Co-Op
  • 3rd place: The Common Market 7th St.

Best small store display

  • 1st place: Berkshire Food Co-Op
  • 2nd place: Dawsons Market
  • 3rd place: Ellwood Thompson’s

SUCCESSFUL EVENT

The promotions were a success with participating stores experiencing increased sales year over year and expanded consumer awareness, according to the release.

“It was a fun atmosphere, incredible-tasting fruit and a more personal connection to learn how the fruit they had in their carts was responsibly grown,” Dey said in the release. “These promotions create long-term benefits and encourage repeat customer visits. Great math for a great customer shopping experience.”

“Farmworkers are vital to our food supply chain and with the labor challenges we’re facing, worker bonuses are an instrumental tool in helping workers feel valued and our certified farms becoming known as employers of choice,” LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing and communications for EFI, said in the release.

EFI has helped educate and train worker-management collaborative teams for 30 grower-shipper companies on more than 80 farming operations. Through the EFI certification program, more than 4,000 farmworkers and managers have been trained in problem-solving, communication and conflict resolution strategies, helping to improve labor and safety for more than 55,000 workers. For more information about becoming EFI certified, or to facilitate EFI certified promotions visit equitablefood.org.


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