Feds backs the butcher, the baker, and the greengrocer
Federated Farmers says the government needs to reconsider and let small business fresh food sellers stay open under level 4.
Last year Federated Farmers national president Andrew Hoggard was vocal about Feds’ position.
"We pleaded for common sense to prevail, we have had over one year to sort this out - yet it is not."
New Zealand’s first COVID-19 lockdown rules meant butchers, bakers and greengrocers could not open as the small retailers were considered non-essential. Federated Farmers strongly recommended that butchers, green grocers, and bakers, should be able to run "click and collect" services.
"Many food retailers such as butchers, bakers and greengrocers can observe distancing and hygiene rules as well as supermarkets within their stores and having them open will ease queues experienced at the bigger stores," Andrew says.
Butchers are currently able to take bookings online and do deliveries.
"This is not good enough. And not what we asked for, most of our small butchers and greengrocers simply don't have the delivery mechanisms, or access to them, to successfully deliver perishable goods".
Small fresh food retailers often have a far bigger range than many supermarkets and can tailor products for people with food intolerances better than supermarkets can.
"We said last year this rule needs a rethink if we are to go back into a full-scale lock down."
The rigorous regular standards that are met on a daily basis by New Zealand butchers and processors are designed to meet global requirements.
"New Zealand butchers operate in a COVID-like situation permanently, the hygiene regimes are regularly audited by Assure Quality, they meet them - or they are out of business. Much like they are now - thanks to government agencies that still haven’t thought things through."