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Baldor's Local Pledge helping to build a stronger food system

Christina DiMartino May 3 , 2016

TJ Murphy, owner and chief executive officer of Baldor Specialty Foods, headquartered in the Bronx, NY, knows that navigating the local season is a challenge and it requires extra work to transition purchasing habits. In response, he issued a pledge challenge on April 12.

“Baldor’s Pledge Local removes the burden by allowing our team to guide our customers’ purchases toward local alternatives,” said Murphy. “We encourage them to take the pledge and help us build a stronger regional food system.”

Baldor’s Pledge Local makes supporting local farms easy. By taking the pledge, customers authorize Baldor’s team of expert buyers to substitute commodity items with comparably priced local alternatives whenever they are available.

“After they take the pledge, we welcome customers to examine their purchasing behavior and get more familiar with our local farms,” explained Murphy. “But if you don’t have time for the homework, don’t change a thing. We’ll send you our best local options regardless.”

Based on sales, Baldor will calculate customers’ local support score. If that score falls below the requirement for certification, the company will offer whatever help is needed to get things rolling.

Murphy stressed the reasons people should get involved.

“Convenience is one,” he said. “Local orders are consolidated under a single distributor, and customers’ bottom lines have our cost-competitive local guarantee.

“Education is another important reason,” Murphy continued. “Customers discover new local farms and products, and they gain access to Baldor’s exclusive farm tours and events.”

Recognition is another viable reason to get involved in Baldor’s Pledge Local. Customers receive verifiable metrics that demonstrate their commitment to local farms.

“And their names are listed on Baldor’s website, mentioned in our press releases and promoted through other communication channels,” added Murphy.

He points out that there is currently no reliable certification process to verify local farm support.

“Baldor’s Pledge Local is different,” he said. “We rely on sales data to demonstrate that our customers support local.”

Restaurants that Pledge Local are listed on Baldor’s website, www.baldorfood.com/pledge by state, by neighborhood, by food type and by business.