Our producers, just like many people, had to quickly adapt to this situation in order to maintain their business. They all strive to keep paying salaries and wasting as little food as possible. It is of course an unsettling time for everyone, mainly because we don’t know when all of this will come to an end. Some of them are now putting an important focus on their farm shops. Since markets in the city center are now prohibited, they are doing the best they can to keep on supplying their loyal customers. These farm shops are obviously respecting the security measures communicated by the Federal Government. Others see a great opportunity in pop-up stores if they don’t have a farm shop or if they wish to further supply their customers.
Many of you have been very suprised, if not skeptical about the fact that there won’t be a shortage of product at Farmy. As you know, all stores, except for supermarkets, are closed at least until the end of April, which means that everything that was originally planned to be delivered to the restaurants is now an oversupply. This is why our producers have no problem serving the higher demand coming from us. They are pushing all of their capacities towards us and this turns into a win-win situation.
Not only restaurants, but all types of events are also cancelled, meaning that producers are striving to partially absorb the loss in this field of their activity.
However, despite the pop-up stores and farm shops, some customers are truly reluctant about leaving their homes, but not willing to sacrifice on quality food. Our producers are therefore happy to work with us as we can help them supply their products to their customers without asking them to leave their homes.
We talked to some of our producers. Here’s how they cope with the current situation.
We are strongly impacted by the shutdown of restaurants and coffeeshops, which are one of our main customers but we keep on working with online markets in order to continuously supply our customers. We are also looking for alternative solutions: we have set up home delivery options for customers who are willing to take advantage of this service and we do our best to encourage supporting local producers, who are the most impacted by this situation.
However, we try to see the bright side of this situation by taking the time to tackle some “back office” work which is often left aside, but also by working on some new products that will go live when the crisis is over.
We had to change and adapt on almost every aspect of our business. Of course we are producing less as we are not supplying restaurants and bars anymore. However the most difficult part is to adapt on a daily basis as we don’t know how things are evolving and how people will feel in the morning when they wake up. As it is something we couldn’t anticipate, we have an oversupply of certain ingredients that we are not using at the moment. We indeed are constantly looking for new markets and customers, like butchers for example, who may be interested in hamburger buns to sell additional products themselves.
Until now, we haven’t faced major problems. Obviously, the restaurant industry and the companies, which represented a significant market are now closed however, the loss has been absorbed greatly by direct sales, which have strongly developed lately. As for labor, we could almost say that there is even more than usual. In fact, work never stop in a market gardening, you always need to nurture the crops, life goes on! Our employees are still well employed and for now we don’t have any issue related to partial unemployment.
Our current concern is to have enough workforce at the time of the harvest. Usually, many people come to us as of the month of March to ask us if we need manpower but there is the possibility that this won’t happen this year.