Farmers Shifting Strategy Amid High Gas Prices

Carmela Karcher

“Once you think you’re out of it, something new pops up and you’re fighting a new fight.”

The drought, pandemic, inflation and now, high gas prices.

While everyone across California is feeling the effects,  the ones who might be getting hit the hardest are farmers.

“We have higher prices when it comes to gas, fertilizer, labor…so a lot of those things have been impacting us,” Mark Tadros explained. “A lot of times it’s the agricultural segment and farms that take that hit.”

Mark Tadros is the owner of Aziz Farms in Thermal.

He has been around farming his whole life and joined the family business about 18 years ago.

But over the past few years, he says his job is becoming more difficult.

“There’s been no kind of steadiness whatsoever for years now,” Tadros continued. “It goes from one bad news cycle to another.”

To substitute for his losses, Tadros had to get creative.

“I figure the more I can diversify, the better chance I have to actually make money. One of which was CV Harvest Box which is a local delivery company so we deliver local produce to your door.”

But because he can’t escape the high gas prices, he’s facing a new challenge.

“We have delivery drivers who get paid per delivery and they are looking at their checks every week and saying to themselves, ‘Wait a second. We are spending this much money in gas to drive all around the entire Coachella Valley.’”

But, there is a bright spot.

“If anything, our deliveries are growing,” Tadros said. “People are, I believe, starting to understand that the more they support their local economy, the better it is for everyone.”

He also mentioned one of the biggest competitors they face is coming from overseas.

So, Tadros is encouraging the desert to start buying local because not only is the food fresher and healthier, it’s supporting people like Tadros and his crew at Aziz Farms.

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