Columbia Farmers Question Survey Results about Market Prices

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COLUMBIA - A 2011 nationwide survey by consulting firm SCALE Inc. found that farmers market prices were equal to or cheaper than supermarket prices about three-quarters of the time.

But ask any vendor at the Columbia Farmers Market, and they will tell you their prices are rarely cheaper.

"I don't walk into a grocery store very often and see that their prices are more expensive than what I'm selling my tomatoes for," said Jeremy Saurage of Deep Mud Farm.

Vera Gelder of Wild About Acres, LLC. said there is a reason she marks up her prices.

"Our product quality is so much better," Gelder said. "Our produce is picked the day before it's sold, unlike grocery store produce which spends usually about a week on a truck traveling from places like California before it's sold in stores."

Fresh vegetables can lose from 10 to 75 percent of vitamin C by the time they've been in storage for a week, which is the average time it takes the produce to get from the field to the grocery store according to health website

KOMU went to Walmart, HyVee and Schnucks to compare their prices to those of the same products sold at the Columbia Farmers Market. We found that the farmers market prices in Columbia appear to be cheaper most of the time. Here are the results broken down to what it would cost for one of each of the following items:



Columbia Farmers Market: $0.83
Walmart: $1.50
HyVee: $1.28 (on sale)
Schnucks: $0.83



Columbia Farmers Market: $0.50
Walmart: $0.88
HyVee: $0.59 (on sale)
Schnucks: $0.59

Poblano Peppers:


Columbia Farmers Market: $0.50
Walmart: ***Does not sell this product
HyVee: $0.50 (on sale)
Schnucks: $2.99



Columbia Farmers Market: $0.83
Walmart: $0.61
HyVee: $0.96
Schnucks: $0.66 (on sale)