Greg and Jodi Clarke – of Great Ocean Ducks – farm free-range Aylesbury ducks on their 16-hectare property overlooking Port Campbell, near the Twelve Apostles and Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. They supplied many leading restaurants pre-COVID-19 and have had to shift their business model (yep, trying to avoid the word ‘pivot’ 😉 ) to keep selling their delicious duck meat. We checked in with Jodi to see how they’re going.
1. How has Great Ocean Ducks changed its business model since March this year?
Crazy – as soon as the initial lock down was announced, beside a moment of sheer panic, we approached the butcher shops we dealt with and asked if they could help out. They were so supportive and agreed to take a solid number of ducks to help us out – we also offered to cap our ducks to make things constant for them – this we considered our base line. We then used instagram to promote and try to demystify duck to the general public and sell direct. Luckily Robin Wickens and the Royal Mail offered a home delivered duck fine dining meal and they bought more ducks than we ever dared dreamed we might sell to them during the first lockdown.
2. What have you learned about yourselves and your flocks since having to deal with such change?
A LOT. We discovered the amazing support that is around, the generosity and care people have for small businesses and the interest the general public have in trying out our duck. We understand it is our turn to remain positive and strong in uncertain times. We also decided that when you make a decision to have to remain strong with that call and stand by it. We decided, especially at the start of Covid that we couldn’t dwell on whether the decisions were made were right or wrong: we just had to make them and stand by them.
3. How are you, the ducks and your team?
We are mostly well – we’re on a crazy rollercoaster the same as everyone but the support the industry has for each other is incredible. It has made us feel wrapped up in the love.