EXETER—For many Rhode Islanders, farming is a family affair which spans generations as members face down challenges such as high property taxes to shrinking available land. The Stamp family, however, is partnering up with an unlikely business; Stop & Shop Supermarkets.
Stamp Farms, which has locations in Exeter and Cranston, will be selling its sweet corn at Stop & Shop locations throughout the state. And consumers will know it, too, as stores will display signage informing customers about the people who grow their food.
“Selling to Stop & Shop allows us to stay in business,” asserts Ann Stamp, who works daily with her husband Bill to grow and harvest corn and other vegetables at their 100-acre location in Exeter. “They are able to reach a lot of Rhode Islanders with local, same-day picked produce. Farmers in Rhode Island pay really steep taxes, and being able to sell at volume allows Stamp Farms to continue.”
Ann and Bill Stamp’s day begins at 2:30 a.m., picking the corn which is then bagged and delivered to the store fronts of 20 Stop & Shop locations throughout the state. Ann says her family, which includes 8 children varying from ages 31 to 13, is proud to deliver fresh produce to local communities.
“It’s an honor to do what we do to raise food for people,” she says. “It is hard work, but we hold it to be very sacred and it’s why we keep doing it. It can be a hard life, but a good life.”
For Stop & Shop Supermarkets, connecting local farmers with Rhode Island consumers is a priority.
“We have been working with local farmers for decades, and the program has only continued to grow,” says Stop & Shop spokesperson Phil Tracey. “The program meets two objectives: it allows us to support local farmers from a business perspective and enables us to provide our customers with the freshest produce available.”
“We want to support local farmers and our customers do as well and appreciate our commitment to this program,” he continues. “It’s a win -win situation all around.”
Tracey added that Stop & Shop offers much support in quality assurance and delivery for local farmers throughout the year, a resource which helps to keep crops going strong.
“We work very closely with all our farmers for the on-boarding process and throughout the entire season,” Tracey explains. “As you can imagine, there are regulations and procedures that need to be followed and implemented. We work with our farm partners well before the season begins, often a year or more. We also provide them with full access to our produce experts who are available at any time to provide answers to their questions or assist them with any obstacles that may arise.”
Ann Stamp can certainly attest to the success of the partnership.
“We grow 100 acres of sweet corn, and you have to be able to sell the product,” she says. “My husband, he does all the deliveries himself, every day, to every single store. I think it is good for everybody.”
For more information about Stamp Farms, visit www.stampfarms.com.