Irma could impact Florida's produce industry

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NORWALK -

Florida, reeling from the impact of Irma, is a major supplier of produce - and it's yet to be seen if the hurricane's destruction will impact the state's agriculture industry.

Employees at Stew Leonard's in Norwalk say there haven't been any price increases just yet. They also say it could be more than a week before they can assess the damage Irma may have caused.

They haven't been able to get in touch with their suppliers in Florida. The grocer gets a lot of produce from the state, like citrus, peppers and squash.

The United States Department of Agriculture also says it's too early to have an accurate assessment of price impacts from Hurricane Irma.

"We have a lot of great resources, great buyers. We pull out of different markets around the Northeast," says Stew Leonard's Norwalk Vice President Les Slater. "I don't think our customers are going to have too much to worry about. We'll figure out something."

Stew Leonard's says they are waiting to see how trucking and freight prices may change as well, considering that fuel prices went up as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

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