Mid-Missouri grocers don't expect price increase in Florida produce

Florida is a major supplier of oranges, lemons and grapefruit. As of Wednesday, John Schulte said the prices have not been affected (KRCG)

Hurricane aftermath is being felt across the country, including Missouri. Florida fruit growers and farmers have just begun to assess the damage left on the state's citrus, sugar cane and vegetable crops.

While the natural disaster may have been more than a thousand miles from mid-Missouri, that doesn't mean it's not felt here.

John Schulte has been in the grocery business for more than 40 years.

"Sometimes if a crop has been devastated, the prices will shoot up automatically," he said.

Florida is a major supplier of oranges, lemons and grapefruit. As of Wednesday, Schulte said the prices have not been affected.

"So far with the hurricanes, there hasn't been much change in pricing or availability."

But that doesn't mean there aren't still changes to come. Schulte said he can remember many fluctuations in food prices over the years.

"One year during the holidays, there was a shortage of cauliflower and the price probably quadrupled," he said.

Schulte said his customers understand the importance of eating healthy, but if fruit and vegetable prices were to rise significantly, some mid-Missourians may be forced to change their eating habits.

"You do have the people that are going to buy the items regardless, whether it's for health reasons or an ingredient to a dinner they want to prepare, but on the other hand, it does affect quite a few people too that they will change their shopping habits and switch to a different fruit or vegetable during that time," Schulte said.

While prices aren't affected as of now, grocery stores may see other changes related to the hurricanes.

"I did receive a message from the warehouse that trucking may become an issue within the next few weeks. I think FEMA has contracted with a lot of the larger trucks in the area to be available," Schulte said.

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