This is the second of a two-part series by KLST’s Daija Barrett about the impact of inflation on agriculture in the Concho Valley. Read the first part here.
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Schwartz Boyz Produce and meats have been serving the Concho Valley for 15 years.
Tate Schwartz says inflation is bringing about a lot of change for the business.
“My prices have probably gone up to $1 to $2 on everything I have,” said Tate Schwartz, cofounder of Schwartz Boyz. “I had to go up, otherwise I’d be out of business. Just diesel prices, fertilizer and everything. I could not, not raise my prices with the political and economic climate that we’re in right now.”
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday they sell at the Concho Valley Farmer’s Market in San Angelo.
“Here at your local farmer’s market, you’re going to get more of a riper product,” said Tate, “you’re probably going to get a fresher product and you’re going to get a good smile on the face from the vendor.”
It was a typical busy Saturday for the Schwartz boys, one sale after another, even with a price increase on their products.
“I do get a few that do ask me about my prices,” said Tate, “and some say I’m just happy that you’re here and providing a fresh product for us and we appreciate that y’all are doing this still.”
Inflation has caused their chemicals, fertilizer and cost of labor to rise at exponential rates but the business has adopted a few new methods to help them stabilize as inflation continues to rise.
“So, we’re trying to use more natural products such a manure, utilize what we have to the best of our abilities,” said Tate. “We’re also utilizing drip irrigation so we’re not using as much water or fertilizer and it goes direct to the plants, so we get the utilization out of the products that we have.”
“One thing you know when you buy from us we don’t sell bad things,” said Trevor Schwartz. “We won’t sell it to you if we won’t eat it ourselves.”
The produce company also sells fresh meats in Midland and Snyder’s farmer’s market along with several roadside stands. Even as the flow of customers is steady, Tate says, they couldn’t do what they do without the support of their customers.
“I’m sorry that my prices had to go up, but it’s just a fact of life that inflation and the economic time we’re in right now,” said Tate. “I had to increase my prices or we wouldn’t be in business. I don’t see any end in sight right now, I mean all my costs are still going up and if we don’t change things soon, I’m sure it’s going to do some real damage.”