New Zealand vegetable growers are working frantically during lockdown

Just in time, Wilson's Vegie Stall at Wilson's Crossing, near Invercargill, has been deemed an essential business, so it doesn't have to dump its entire winter vegetable crop amid the coronavirus lockdown. The market gardeners grows 31 different products  - everything from garlic to pumpkins, and could supply fruit and other vegetables through other growers.

Had the company not been deemed an essential service, it could have all "rotted in the ground," company owner Kathy Wilson said. "There would have been acres of it, cabbages, broccoli, everything, just going to waste. We don't supply supermarkets, we sell through our stall or by mail order, so it would have been a disaster really. "

But the company got notification it could continue to supply vegetables to its customers from the Ministry for Primary Industries early on Saturday night, meaning its vegetables, which will progressively be ready throughout winter, will not go to waste.

And although it’s not allowed to open the roadside stall at Wilson's Crossing, they've been flat out making deliveries or fresh fruit and vegetables since Sunday.

"We are just run off our feet. It's just gone mad, people are desperate for fresh fruit and vegetables during the lock down - rural people especially because they don't want to go from their own bubble into town."

Essential businesses, and those that support them, are to continue to provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand during Alert Level 4, so food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support would continue to be available. The Government agencies were checking that those businesses were operating in a way that minimised the risk of Covid-19 transmission.


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