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Local farmers offer product alternatives as supply issues continue

Some residents are opting to shop locally from farmers markets as supply chain issues continue.
Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2022 at 10:58 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Supply chain issues are still affecting grocery store shelves and prices, which is why some people are choosing to shop from local farmers markets.

Joe Simmons, of Baton Rouge, said there is nothing like fresh produce.

“We make it a point to come down to the market every weekend that we are in town, certainly on Saturdays. It’s such an important part of week for us,” explained Simmons.

Simmons said he and his wife shop seasonal produce from the Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge. They know what’s going to be available from local farmers, and it’s why they don’t always need to go to the grocery store, wondering if they will find what they need.

“Well, that’s the one thing we don’t have to worry about here. We got our farmers working every day in the field getting us wonderful fresh produce,” added Simmons.

According to Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the pandemic is affecting the shelves and prices of grocery stores, but it’s not really affecting local farmers.

‘Whatever is coming in at that time, you know we are always planting something. We are always picking something. Right now, we are coming into strawberry season,” explained William Fletcher, who is the owner of Fletcher Farm.

Fletcher is known for his veggies and fresh strawberries. This year, he is expecting a good strawberry season and wants to remind customers that he will always be in stock, even when the grocery store is not.

“You know we are always trying to pick something and have it down at the market. You know there is a lot of talk about supply chain issues and products being stuck off shore in container ships. I am the supply chain. We picked it at my house yesterday, put it in my truck this morning, and brought it here and put it in their hands today,” added Fletcher.

So sometimes, shopping locally can be healthier and cheaper. It’s why local farmers like Fletcher hope to see shoppers like Simmons keep coming.

The Red Stick Farmers Market operates every Thursday between 8 -12 p.m. behind the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The market is will also be downtown every Saturday from 8-12 p.m.

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