Inflation, supply chain issues hit Utah farmers markets

Jun 6, 2022, 12:49 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 11:56 am

SALT LAKE CITY — You can add farmers markets to the list of places where inflation and supply chain issues continue to take their toll, especially on vendors.

It may be far from the sights and sounds of your local grocery store, but the impacts of rising costs hitting wallets, shelves and pumps are increasingly being felt at places like the Lehi Farmers Market.

“The effect is just crazy. And it literally impacts everything we do. Everything we do,” said Dorothy Durrant.

Durrant sees the impact each week at her farm, where she hosts the Lehi Farmers Market. She opened it up two years ago when most places were closed to in-person business, as a way to help small business owners struggling during the pandemic.

“This has been kind of an oasis for a lot of people to come to because. It’s been normal life here.”

Today, those same vendors are struggling with shipping delays and rising costs on everything from ingredients to gas to product materials. Durrant said she and her husband have had to start charging for their tractor rides because of the jump in diesel fuel.

“You’re helping the local economy when you shop here,” Durrant said.

Wes Fisk and his family are among the regular vendors who set up shop inside Durrant’s barn each Friday and Saturday. They sell handmade jewelry and handcrafted products.

“This is our main gig right here,” Fisk said while working on a bracelet.

Fisk admitted it’s been tough in recent months. Tough to get their hands on the right materials in a timely manner. And “with the cost of everything going up it definitely makes it more difficult to stay lower on price.”

Others like Heather Hansen are also feeling it. She said “everything’s changed” since she launched Crimped Bakery a year ago, cooking and selling homemade pies out of her kitchen.

Lately, as the price of flour and other ingredients have increased, she’s been nervous about growing her business. And the struggle has left her wondering, “Where this is going to go and how much longer I can do this and still make a profit?

“And at what point do I need to pass along those costs on to my customer?”

Durrant knows the vendors who come through her farm. And she says, “everyone’s a little bit concerned about what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

But no matter how far inflation goes tomorrow or next year, Durrant said the farmers market will be close for small business owners and the community.

“We keep doing it because it just is a little oasis for people to come,” she said.

“The great thing about it though is the community comes out and they help support,” Fisk said.

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Inflation, supply chain issues hit Utah farmers markets