You can still support your local suppliers in lockdown. Photo: File

How to support small local food businesses during the lockdown

The way we buy our food has changed hugely since the lockdown began. Small New Zealand producers have taken a massive hit, closing stores and struggling with online demand. Here are some ways shoppers can help these businesses.

In the first week of lockdown, shoppers panicked. It was a perfectly natural response to the fear that supplies, food and otherwise may be in short stock in the coming month, despite the constant reassurance from government, suppliers and sellers that this would not be the case. 

Now that we’re almost two weeks into alert level four, things have calmed slightly, and many more small local food businesses have joined the online marketplace to try to ease some of the pressure on supermarkets and keep their small businesses afloat.

If you want to save yourself some time in the supermarket line or just help to save a local business, check these ones out.

Delivereat

As one long list of all the suppliers that have home delivery services, delivereat is helping to cut out the middle man (supermarkets). There are 424 independent Kiwi businesses listed on delivereat with products ranging from fruit and vegetables to pet food to personal hygiene goods.  

It’s super hard to secure a space on the click-and-collect or delivery services at supermarkets right now, and those spots should be left for people who, for health reasons, can’t risk going to the supermarket. Delivereat is an alternative to that, where you can buy all the grocery items you need, straight from the source.

Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market

This one’s just for our Hawke’s Bay whānau. If you were a fan of the HB or Napier urban farmers’ markets every weekend, you don’t have to stop buying from your favourite local producers because of the lockdown. 

The farmers’ market website has compiled a handy list of all the stallholders who are continuing to sell through home delivery, online shops and those being stocked in mainstream supermarkets. 

Spring Collective

Based on a 20-acre farm in Leeston, 30km southwest of Christchurch, the Spring Collective has had one of its busiest seasons yet, putting together delivery boxes of seasonal produce – fruit and vegetables. Usually they would sell at farmers markets, restaurants, wholesalers and with vege boxes, but under lockdown, most of those options aren’t available. 

If you live in Christchurch or a Canterbury town, you can support the Spring Collective by signing up to a vege box subscription, delivered once a week. There are a few options for the amount of produce you can get, it’s all certified organic and they provide a list of what’s in season with every order, so you can have a peek at what might be coming your way.

Shepherdess

The website filled with stories of rural wāhine doing amazing things has compiled a list of some great rural food businesses doing delivery all over the country. From butcheries to fruit sellers and dairy to gourmet mushrooms, you’ll find a lot of cool small businesses doing what they can to survive the lockdown. There are heaps of lower North Island-based businesses on this list, so if that’s where you’re isolating, this article could help you out.

SOS Cafe

Set up especially to help cafes during the level four lockdown, SOS Cafe aims to help keep small cafes afloat while they’re not legally allowed to open their doors. The basic concept is just like a voucher: select which cafe you would like to support from the hundreds available, pay what you would like, and then select to either donate that money or have it to use as a voucher when the cafes open again. All of the proceeds go straight to the cafes.

The Pandemic Pack

The Pandemic Pack is a group of Wellington hospitality owner-operators who banded together to launch a delivery platform before the alert level four restrictions came in. The lockdown has put those plans on hold, but the group has just launched a cookbook featuring 41 recipes from 16 different Wellington businesses. It’s available as an e-book on a pay-as-you-feel model, with a suggested base price of $10.

Eat New Zealand

The food collective Eat New Zealand is regularly updating its Facebook page with cool ways to support local food businesses around the country, so keep an eye on it.



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