Farmers need our help now more than everApr 24, 2020
Australian farmers have taken hammer blow after hammer blow and need our support now more than ever, according to fresh food processor PMFresh.
PMFresh Chief Executive Officer Ben Watt said fresh vegetable growers had suffered through months and months of dealing with the worst that mother nature could throw at them and were now facing fresh pressures due to COVID-19 related consumer downturns.
“From the devastating bushfires which impacted our Queensland farmers in December, then the catastrophic unprecedented fire season in New South Wales and Victoria, to then be followed by floods in some areas. It’s just heart-breaking for all of us,” Mr Watt said.
“We’re now experiencing situations where market uncertainty had seen shoppers stock up on long-life and shelf stable products, which is leaving fresh vegetable and leaf growers and processors feeling the pinch even more.”
PMFresh is a national fresh food manufacturing company which produces value add fresh convenience foods including salad bags and kits, as well as a vast array of fresh soups, meals and prepared vegetables for supermarkets, and the food service industry.
Mr Watt said that while recent reporting from the federal government’s agricultural forecaster, ABARES, showed Australian food security was not under threat and farming capacity could more than deal with demand, the short to medium term outlook for many farmers and processors was tough due to changes in consumer behaviour.
He said the company was doing all it could to assist farmers in the short to medium term, including amending supply agreements and contract terms to ensure support, but urged all Australians to get back to into the habit of buying fresh leafy vegetables, salad mixes and soups.
“Pasta and rice is great, but fresh is always best!”