Wal-Mart Goes Local..But I’m Not Buying It

So, I just read a story in The Greenville News. And one story caught my eye so much I just had to share it with you: Wal-Mart Selling S.C. Produce.

I am not a Wal-Mart fan. Yes, I’m sure the retail giant does lots of good things that often go unnoticed, but I still feel like they push out the local businesses that make communities unique. (They’re building a Wal-Mart about two miles from my house, which is sure to make the area even more of a cluster than it already is, but big development won out there).

In any event, this latest announcement by Wal-Mart to start selling locally-grown, S.C. produce just smells rotten to me. Sure, maybe their hearts are in the right place. In the end, does it really matter WHERE you purchase the local produce as long as the local farmers benefit (which in my mind is one of the great reasons to buy local in the first place)?

Who cares where you buy local, as long as you buy it, right?

But for me, I’d still rather go down to the Greenville State Farmer’s Market on Rutherford Road or the Saturday Morning Market in downtown Greenville and purchase my local produce. There’s something very real about meeting the farmers and merchants who grew these vegetables and flowers with their own hands that makes me feel better about what I’m eating.

Wal-Mart’s latest announcement, while it might help local farmers, just feels like a publicity stunt to me.

What do you think? Am I letting my personal grudges get in the way of what is ultimately a good thing for S.C. farmers? Or should I still hold my self-imposed boycott of Wal-Mart purely out of principal?

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