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Market Basket Dispute Impacts South Deerfield Farm

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South Deerfield, Mass. (WGGB)- A local farm is losing big bucks as a result of the Market Basket dispute. For over a month employees have been protesting the grocery store chain.

Although the closest supermarket locations are in Central mass, it’s costing local farmers.

Hugh Manheim owns Manheim Farm in South Deerfield; he’s particularly upset with the Market Basket dispute.

“The crazy part was when those guys walked out; all the produce was left on the racks. Whatever perishable in there went bad; they threw out trailers and trailers of produce,” Manheim explains.

And much of that produce was his own. Manheim’s farm grows 400 acres of produce and Market Basket was one of his biggest customers.

They purchased every one of the farm’s vegetables, and some were grown just for the supermarket chain.

“They tried our carrot last year, and thought it was really good and they asked us to grown more carrots for them this year,” he continues.

Market Basket representatives have not yet given Manheim an update and they even owe for two weeks of sales.

“We have called a few times, so hopefully they’re going to pay us.”

The farm delivered vegetables to Market Basket three times a week that made up about a third of their business, but other grocery chains are stepping up to fill the void.

“Stop and Shop has increased their corn orders, they’re buying our pepper field, cabbage and Big Y has committed to buying our carrots,” he says.

It’s a financial struggle for local farmers as the protest continues.

“They’re still out picketing and fighting for the cause, but in the meantime they’re hurting us.”

The hope is for a resolution with market basket soon that will not jeopardize the financial stability of the farm in the future.

The goal is that family members fighting over the grocery chain will reach a deal to save the company by the end of the week.

In the meantime, Governor Deval Patrick is urging market basket employees to go back to work.


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