COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
The Columbia Farmer's Market finished up their second week of the spring season season on Saturday. The market had 50 vendors on site Saturday but as the season progresses, it plans to have at least 70.
While inflation has made the prices of many products higher, the farmers market says it is still fair priced. The Columbia Farmer's Market Executive Director said while customers are paying fair prices, it's vendors are still getting hit with inflation costs.
"Our vendors are definitely seeing increased prices in their supplies, you know feed, seed, like equipment, all across the board," Smith said.
This is not only happening to farmers in Columbia but others as well.
ABC 17 News spoke to an Osage County farmer, George Luebbering, a farmer at Tender N Tasty Beef, on Friday who said his prices of meat have nearly doubled over the past couple of years.
"Back then we sold hamburgers for $2.50 and $3.00 a pound and now were getting $5.50/$6.00 a pound you know and our processing cost has doubled from what they were when we started out," Luebbering said.
According to ABC News, food prices are soaring at record levels and the USDA also predicts all food prices are going to increase between 4.5% and 5.5% this year.
However customers who shop at the Columbia Farmer's Market told ABC 17 News they are fine with paying higher prices at the market sometimes because the quality of the products they buy are directly from the source and they get to support local farmers.
"Generally its going to be a little bit more expensive here but as I said, the vegetables and eggs are going to be fresher and it's just not that much more expensive to justify avoiding fresh food," said Terry Lord, a shopper at the Columbia Farmer's Market.
Paige Stevens says she not only likes the products but the environment at the market as well. "I get so happy seeing everyone smile and the band playing and practicing a more sustainable practice of agriculture," Stevens said.
Glenn Nieslen said he likes to support the locals and he gets a discount on what he buys. "I like to come here because one of the vendors here that I purchase from for many years accepts crypto currency, Bitcoin, and I like to get a 10% discount when I spend the Bitcoin," Nieslen said.
The farmer's market had a record breaking year in 2021 with over 100,000 people stopping by. The executive director said she anticipates the inflation will hit their floor prices eventually, however the vendors are in total control of what they decide to charge customers.