New Zealand wholesaler grocer

Smaller New Zealand growers without contracts with large retailers are struggling to get their product in the hands of consumers amid the country’s coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

According to a report from 1 NEWS, with farmers markets and independent fruit and vegetable retailers closed because of restrictions some growers have lost a substantial portion of their income.

Horticulture New Zealand has said between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of fresh produce is sold through these stores.

Speaking with 1 NEWS tomato grower Lu Zheng said some smaller growers rely on earning extra income from selling direct to the public.

'If you go to the farmers' market you get a retail price, not a wholesale price, that's the difference,'Lu said.

In response to this shortfall Lu has joined some growers in selling direct to the public through online services.

Lu had managed to diversify before the lockdown but other growers have the ability to follow in the same path given the New Zealand government provided an exception to door-to-door, local fruit and vegetable box deliveries.

Ooooby is one New Zealand company offering this delivery service and the company’sBrad Meiring said it is trying to bring growers and consumer together.

'We're bridging the gap between the small-scale producers and you at home. It's like bringing a farmers' market to you at home,” Meiring told 1 NEWS.

'We have a much shorter supply chain, it's basically farmer to us to you at home.”