Fresh Forward isn’t just a slogan for Subway® — it’s a commitment.
For the second straight year, Subway is partnering with Georgia Grown — a program from the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) — to bring farm-fresh produce to Subway restaurants in parts of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
Produce travels straight from local farms to Subway restaurants. It's all part of our dedication to providing wholesomeness and quality ingredients to consumers, as well as supporting hardworking local farmers.
During the growing season, Georgia Grown farmers provide more than 8 million pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers to Subway restaurants each year.
Subway food scientist Jonna Thomas explains that the farmers benefit from the consistent business. “In the case of tomatoes, for example, farmers have an easier time selling the whole field because Subway takes the smaller sizes that might be harder to contract for with other distributors.”
Carter and Sons Produce in Valdosta, Georgia, provides peppers and other produce to some Subway restaurants in the state. (Photo: Carter and Sons Produce/Facebook)
One farm proudly participating in the Georgia Grown initiative is Carter and Sons Produce in Valdosta, a fourth-generation family farm. In addition to the peppers and cucumbers the farm provides to Subway, the 1,800-acre property yields squash, beets, watermelon, white and sweet potatoes, corn, butter beans, and other Southern favorites.
Locals also flock to the farm’s nearby restaurant and market for daily specials like ribs, mac and cheese, and home-baked breads and pies.
Owner Walt Carter learned the business from his father, who still works at the farm, along with his uncle and several other family members. He’s proud to be a part of the Subway partnership and sees it as an opportunity to educate the public about family farms.
“[You] wouldn’t believe the number of young people who don’t know where bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and squash come from. We try to teach as many people as we can," he said in a recent interview.
Buying local seasonal vegetables from Carter and Sons Produce in Georgia means that food travels a shorter distance from its source to Subway restaurants. (Photo: Carter and Sons Produce/Facebook)
Sourcing locally has other benefits, as well. During the harvest season, jobs open up for farm workers, and local businesses see profits as farmers come buy materials and have equipment repaired.
Buying local seasonal vegetables also means that during the growing season, produce travels fewer miles from the farm to Subway restaurants.
Future partnerships with local growers elsewhere in the country are possible, says Thomas, provided the farms can meet Subway’s high standards for quality, food safety, sustainability and the cost to franchisees.
Top Image Credit: Carter and Sons Produce/Facebook