Local produce providers say save money, buy local fruits and veggies

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Produce buyers in North Alabama say they are already seeing slight increases in the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables.

With the chance of tariffs increasing Mexican-grown produce prices by potentially 25 percent, local markets and healthy food organizations are reaching out to better inform the communities they serve.

"Our co-op mission is to help everyone to eat healthier for less. To get those fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets for less money," said Beth Haynie, founder of Plentiful Produce Co-Op.

Garrett Monks, a local grower, says there are benefits to shopping for local foods.

"A lot of the stuff in the grocery store is shipped in from all over, and that's okay. But when you can get it local it's better and a whole lot fresher," said Monks.

Even with Mexico being the United States' largest trade partner and the possibility of new tariffs, growers say North Alabamians can avoid them.

Haynie said southeastern crops are in full swing and North Alabamians should be able to source all fresh produce from the region for the next few months.

"We don't anticipate seeing a large change in our prices, or even any change in our prices at this time," explained Haynie.  "A lot of our produce comes from North Alabama and from the southeastern United States. So Mexico shouldn't affect us at this time."

Monks said regardless of changes with tariffs his farm hasn't raised it's produce prices in nearly five years.

"We're okay with that, we'd rather make people happy and know that we've got a product that's worth selling and worth being proud of," Monks added.

Something local growers say isn't always the case in stores.

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