"It's busier than Christmas"

Coronavirus panic buying leads consumers straight to paddock to plate businesses

Beef
Megan and Ritchie Mann with their daughters Macy and Kelsey, of WM Meats, Taylors Arm, which has seen increased demand for home delivery meat as a result of coronavirus. Photos: Supplied

Megan and Ritchie Mann with their daughters Macy and Kelsey, of WM Meats, Taylors Arm, which has seen increased demand for home delivery meat as a result of coronavirus. Photos: Supplied

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Paddock to plate businesses see increased demand.

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Panic buying of grocery items has boosted the sales of paddock to plate businesses and forced some to employ more staff.

As the flow on impacts of coronavirus continue to be felt, some positive news has come from producers with their own supply chains who have received increased demand for their meat and dairy products.

WM Meats at Taylors Arm in the Nambucca Valley offers home-bred British breed beef and pork, lamb and chicken from other suppliers and delivers from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to Canberra and also Melbourne in Victoria.

The business had felt the impacts of recent drought and fire but demand for grocery supplies has seen orders surpass their Christmas demand.

Megan Mann who runs the business with her husband, Ritchie Mann and parents Trevor and Tracie Welsh, said two new staff members had been employed in their accredited licensed on-farm boning room to help get through the next few weeks.

Megan and Ritchie Mann with their daughters Macy and Kelsey and Tracie and Trevor Welsh, all of WM Meats, Taylors Arm. Photos: Supplied

Megan and Ritchie Mann with their daughters Macy and Kelsey and Tracie and Trevor Welsh, all of WM Meats, Taylors Arm. Photos: Supplied

"The major cities have definitely increased," she said

"I've had people ringing saying they can't get anything from their local butchers. I think there are people...taking it upon themselves to do self isolation so they are finding ways to do it and not need to go to the shops.

"We had a customer in Sydney who runs an online grocery business and he couldn't get anything from his suppliers so on Saturday and Sunday we pumped out a tonne of chicken and sent his way."

Ms Mann hoped their new customers would continue to support producers directly, even after the coronavirus impacts fade.

"Hopefully now that our name gets out there and once people get the product and taste how good it is and how good it is packed, they won't rely on the big supermarkets," she said.

Bernie Brennan of Homebush Park Lamb, Binalong, sells all of his 250 Australian White lambs direct to consumers each year to Melbourne, Sydney and the central coast.

Bernie Brennan of Homebush Park Lamb, Binalong.

Bernie Brennan of Homebush Park Lamb, Binalong.

The lambs are killed in Cowra, before being hung at a Young butcher for five to six days and packaged accordingly for delivery the next day.

By making changes around the exchange of money and product drop offs to ensure health and safety is paramount, the business has also seen increased interest.

"I think what has happened is your current clients are now offering suggestions of where they have got it (their meat) from, it's just the grapevine working," he said.

"The feedback is phenomenal...you've got blokes that are 60-year-old and have never eaten lamb like that in their life.

"Where most people send their good stock to the saleyards and kill the worst, I kill the best."

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