07/10/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Wal-Mart Stores To Source More Local Produce

In a bid to offset the rising cost of fuel, Wal-Mart plans to expand its offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables grown and shipped from local farms across the U.S.

During the last two years, partnerships between local farms and the world's largest retailer have jumped 50 percent, and the company anticipates it will source about $400 million in local produce this year, making it the country's largest buyer of produce that is grown and sold within a state's borders.

The move will allow Wal-Mart to save millions in fuel costs. For instance, buying 12 million pounds of peaches from farms in 18 states saves the company 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel compared to its previous practice of sourcing peaces from only two suppliers, the Associated Press reported.

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