New England farmers hurt by Market Basket dispute
METHUEN, Mass. -- The family feud that has led to empty shelves at the Market Basket stores is having an impact on local farmers who normally supply produce to the regional supermarket chain.
Rich Bonanno, whose family operates Pleasant Valley Gardens in Methuen, estimated he was losing $2,000 a day due to the ongoing revolt by store workers and customer boycott.
While he's been able to unload produce to other buyers, Bonanno said he was only earning about half of what he would normally take in from Market Basket.
"I have no choice but to make it through this growing season. How much I'm hurt at the end of the growing season, what my bottom line looks like, I'm not sure at this point," Bonnano said.
The New England grocery store chain is embroiled in a family feud featuring two cousins who have been at odds for decades.
Workers are demanding the reinstatement of former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, whom they credit with keeping prices low, treating them well and guiding the company's success.
His cousin Arthur S. Demoulas gained control of the board of directors. Last month, the board fired Arthur T. Demoulas, sparking the current uprising.
John Simone, a former driver for Market Basket who owns Riverside Farm in Methuen, said he typically sells about 95 percent of his produce to the supermarket chain.
"I'm on pins and needles like everybody else at this point," Simone said.
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