You may have never heard of Sysco, but you probably eat its products several times a week -- if not daily. Sysco, the 55th largest company in the United States, is simultaneously the Walmart and the Office Depot of the restaurant industry, supplying ingredients as simple as dried beans and as complicated as prepared entrees and sauces to hundreds of thousands of restaurants and institutional kitchens.
So when Fast Company reports that Sysco is restructuring the way it does business to make local produce available to its clients
, it's kind of a big deal. Of course, "restructuring" doesn't mean "simplifying" -- the magazine has to chart the way the new distribution chain works in a complicated infographic. While Sysco's idea of local food doesn't resemble a stroll through the farmers' market, it shows how technology can help small farmers and large institutional kitchens in their community do business.