Spare a thought for Western Australia’s primary producers during the coronavirus pandemic. Every time a hospitality venue closes, slips into hibernation or scales back its produce order, farmers lose income.
To combat this drop in sales, farmers and suppliers are rethinking their business models and turning to – or ramping up – direct sales to customers to help secure cash flow and keep workers employed. Enthusiastic home cooks and regional small businesses are both reaping the rewards.
Here’s an edit of produce and producers worth checking out. Buy direct. Put your money straight into the pocket of the little guys. Level up your home cooking. It’s a win-win-win.
Fruit and veg
Want to get better at cooking vegetables? Commit to buying a box of the good stuff from a grower and force yourself to sharpen your plant-based cooking game. Southern Forests-based Warren Grange delivers mixed veggie boxes to Perth weekly – the current offering includes owner Rick Scoones’s renowned heirloom tomatoes, potatoes from his neighbour, and eggplants and chillies. Boxes cost $60 and a variety of pick-up points are available. Email Rick for more details.
Trandos Tomatoes is now supplying the public and offering delivery (for a $2.50 fee) for orders of $20 or more.
Fruit Hub is offering fruit and veg boxes (priced at $40 and $50) filled largely with Genuinely Southern Forests produce for pick-up in Bibra Lake. Delivery is available for $10 throughout the metropolitan area.
Fish and seafood
Since bursting onto the scene three years ago, Fins Seafood has established itself as one of the industry’s go-to fishmongers. Owners Phil Clark and John Cordin’s decision to branch out into home delivery means home cooks can now access the same fish and seafood chefs use. The new online ordering system allows customers to select and pay for items for next-day delivery throughout the metropolitan area. In addition to predominantly local seafood, customers can also purchase grass-fed beef and lamb from Dirty Clean Food, a network of farmers committed to regenerative agriculture. (A reciprocal partnership between Fins and Dirty Clean Food allows meat buyers to add seafood to their online order, too.)
Veteran fishmonger Kailis Bros has been offering home delivery for a couple of weeks. The range includes fish fillets, shellfish and condiments, plus dinner packs combining all the above.
Seafood and food-service provider Endeavour Foods has also introduced home delivery. In addition to local seafood, customers can also add meats and a selection of dairy and bakery goods to their order.
Meat and cheese
Gingin Beef has reintroduced its grass-fed beef home-delivery service (free for orders over $250, $10 for smaller orders). Bulk meat and mince packs are available as well as individual cuts.
Although Hamlet Pork’s home-delivery service isn’t new, Catherine and Luke Hamson’s thoughtfully reared Berkshire pork is worth mentioning on account of its widespread support among chefs. Smoked, cured and cut pork is available for weekly delivery on Thursdays. Orders of $200 or more are delivered free.
The bad news: family-owned farmhouse cheese producer Cambray Cheese has temporarily closed its shop in Nannup. The good news: the Wilde family is doing weekly cheese-box deliveries to Perth and the south-west. Choose from small (five cheeses for $50) or large (eight cheeses for $80) boxes. Orders close Tuesday for Thursday delivery.