The coronavirus has affected many industries, and the farming industry is one that has felt the impact of the outbreak.
Florida farmers are facing unprecedented times as the demand for produce has decreased.
State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said Thursday night via conference call that Florida farmers are currently facing many hardships.
“COVID-19 is affecting all of our lives and every corner of our economy,” she said. We know that for producers, that means a major decrease in demand due to restaurants and schools being closed. ”
John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau, said he thinks Fried’s department is working tirelessly to find solutions.
“The department is quite honestly working with the higher-ups and the federal government and pushing the information that’s pertinent to our producers each and every day that we produce,” he said.
Fried said the state is currently working on connecting producers to additional markets within Florida and other states. They have also maintained contact with large retailers like Walmart, Whole Foods, and Publix to encourage them to purchase more Florida produce. They are also coordinating with state departments like the Department of Corrections that are in need of fresh food.
“We are working every single minute of every single day to help our producer letter the stores and keep agriculture at the backbone of our economy,” she said.
In order for state departments to purchase from farmers, Florida farmers producers must be registered on www.myfloridamarketplace.com. Once they become a vendor, state dollars can go to them to purchase this produce.
The department will continue to work to help farmers that have been affected by COVID-19.