The midland fruit and vegetable markets are a hot spot for online retailers such as Amazon, Target and Walmart, but the state’s retail industry is suffering.
The state’s fruit and veg retailers have struggled to keep up with the demand, and are in the midst of a protracted battle with retailers who are trying to get their stores open more quickly.
The retail industry has struggled to meet growing demand for its fruit and vegetables because of the high price tags and high labour costs.
The midland markets have struggled with a shortage of growers and seed suppliers, as well as with a surge in the number of illegal immigrants entering the country from Mexico, a result of a surge of migrants arriving in the United States.
“We are seeing a lot of competition from online retailers, and they are looking for ways to make a profit,” said Tim Moore, executive director of the Midland Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
“This has led to more and more people coming into the market, and we’re seeing the cost of food being higher than it has ever been.”
The association has been trying to help the growers and retailers compete by working with state and federal governments, the Midlands Farmers Market Board and other retailers to open more stores and get them open as quickly as possible.
In March, the board met with officials from the Agriculture Department and the Texas Agriculture Department to discuss how to improve the supply chain for growers and the ability to compete with online retailers.
The board is also looking to make the state more attractive for online retail stores, according to a statement from board member Michael Wooten.
The state is working to improve access to retail in the state by working to increase the minimum wage and provide more childcare options, and by improving the quality of the state-run nurseries and crop insurance companies, Wootens said in the statement.
The farmers market board also is looking to expand the list of farmers markets to include all of the regions in the midland area, Woomens said.
“If we have the ability and the resources to do that, we have an opportunity to do it,” he said.
The industry’s woes are not unique to midland.
A study conducted by the Texas Agricultural Commissioner’s office found that while the state has the third-highest per-capita food consumption in the country, it is the fifth-highest in the world, with a per capita consumption of just over 13,000 calories per day.
In Texas, the average cost per meal is about $3.85, according the state Department of Agriculture.