Local farmers benefiting from new Big Y distribution center

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Big Y began construction on its massive distribution center a year ago.

It’s a facility designed to speed up the process of farmers getting their freshly grown fruits and vegetables to Big Y stores. Meadowbrook Farms owner John Burney’s excited about the distribution center becoming operational early next year.

“[Meadowbrook Farms has] a very small retail business and then a much larger wholesale business,” Burney explained. “Big Y has their central distribution center-right in Springfield. We send a truck in every day and then they can distribute it to their stores.”

An accelerated delivery system delights Cooley Street Big Y store director Tricia Hay. She told 22News how the expanded distribution network benefits growers, retailers, and customers anxious to buy the freshest produce more quickly.

“We have backdoor deliveries that we get every day,” Hay said. “That means our farmers are picking stuff that very morning and it’s coming in our back door that same day.”

For East Longmeadow farmer John Burney, the relationship with Big Y has enabled him to increase his production of strawberries from three quarters of an acre back in the 1980s to 450 acres today.

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