Market Basket dispute impacts Western Massachusetts farmers - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Market Basket dispute impacts Western Massachusetts farmers

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Employees and customers are protesting the grocery store chain Market Basket after the company's former CEO was fired. During this time local farmers are losing money from not being able to deliver produce to the store's warehouse in two weeks. 

Hugh Manheim, owner of Manheim farm in South Deerfield, grows 400 acres of produce for big chain grocery stores like Big Y, Stop & Shop and Market Basket. The farm usually delivers vegetables to the Market Basket warehouse three times a week, but since the dispute with the company, the farm has to halt their usually deliveries.

"No news, no contact, no information has been shared with us, all the Western Mass growers are in the dark," said Manheim. 

He said the grocery store chain hasn't given him a check in two weeks for produce they've already delivered. 

"We are kind of at a loss, as we've specially grown crops for them," said Manheim. 

Market Basket is one of the larger companies they supply to. The South Deerfield farm grows 8 acres of carrots just for Market Basket. Manheim said since the dispute began, his workers have been trying to sell their carrots to other markets, but said those are hard to sell. All other produce marked for the store are being un-used and it's a financial strain on the farm. 

"It's challenging, we're trying to meet every obstacle as a challenge and go forward from there," said Manheim. 

Farmers do have an insurance from the government to help in situations like this. Manheim said companies that aren't paying farmers have 30 days to pay before they're shut down. 

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