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Local businesses adapt to coronavirus situation

By Country News

Numurkah business Eden Farm Produce is seeing customer numbers almost triple.

Eden Farm Produce owner Gary Baker said customers were avoiding visiting supermarkets where many people gather, and were preferring to purchase fresh food straight from the farm.

“We’ve changed how we interact — how we engage — with our customers. On the delivery side we don’t go into their house, we drop it at the front door; and from our shop point of view, every time there is a customer we sanitise the door handles and use cashless payment,” he said.

The number of orders the business is receiving and the number of deliveries it makes have increased hugely.

Mr Baker said now, more than ever, people were seeing the need to take care of their immune systems and eat healthier food.

“We know we’ve had a massive increase in customer numbers, and we think once all this blows over they’ll stick with us — how they shop is going to change and they will eat more organically.”

Mr Baker said local businesses would be supported, as Eden Farm Produce mainly sold organic Australian food.

Eden Farm Produce planned to run 30 workshops throughout the year including on making sourdough bread and healthy eating, which it is hoped will shift online.

Another family business, Boris's Fruit Shed, has also changed its practices to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic.

The store has bagged loose fruit for sale at the front of the shop, to avoid customers touching individual fruit.

Store employee Josie Mladenov said the changes had been made to maintain hygiene and social distancing requirements.

“Everything is too close in the shed, so now they’re in the front of the shop and people grab what they want and go,” she said.

A Nutrien Ag Solutions spokesperson said the business was also working to minimise business disruption and reassured farmers that supplies were secure.

“We have ramped up hygiene practices and implemented social distancing measures across all our operations, including in our retail stores,” the spokesperson said.

“Our stores remain open, with customers expected to adhere to social distancing requirements.

“For those clients not wanting to physically come into the store, they are encouraged to call ahead to arrange pick-up.”