Food producers are being hit by the lockdown, too. We checked in with Lizette Snaith of Warialda Belted Galloway Beef.
1. What does this crisis mean for an ethical beef producer like you in terms of sales?
For us it has meant being on the front foot of change – of embracing the fact that we are small, autonomous and flexible. I guess that’s the joy of small business and now is the time to engage and to use that to help not just our business survive, but to help people to stay at home and eat well.
Last Saturday’s FM at Riddells Creek was unprecedented (3 times as many sales for us). That’s around 140 people I interacted with, all be it with a trestle table between us and an obvious change in our behaviour with hand washing / sanitising and using the EFT machine more than normal.
I think the demand that day was because other shops were out of stock. We had lots of regular customers simply getting another few cuts to keep them in beef for a bit longer.
2. What worries you most in the long term about this crisis?
Long term is the fallout of low/no income for so many people.
I finished uni in the 80’s during the recession and remember how that felt…it was hard, depressing and didn’t feel like there was a future.
I wonder how the restaurants/hospitality will come back from this and I guess a lot will not. It’s a re-set button opportunity – but will we take up that challenge to REALLY CHANGE how we live, the impact we have on our world and the ugly side of consumerism ?? Time will tell. Bring back the horse and cart delivering milk I say. Funnily enough that is actually what we are doing with our beef. Driving to the people so they don’t have to go out. We are so so so lucky that what we produce is an essential and basic product.
3. How are you, your family and team?
So far so good…. fingers crossed.
Essentially we are in lockdown now, except to head out to get the meat from the butcher and any other food we may need. We have shut the front gate here at the farm. We are on the phone ALOT. I even used the landline earlier today – hehehe. Our employees are now at their homes, and we are going to continue to support them financially…we need them back on deck when this is all over.
Interview: March 28