Pays to shop local

Dominic Doblo Jr, Blake Maker, and Alen Vergara in the cold room at Doblo's Farmers Market.

by Khrysti Balanay

Shoppers have noticed that shelves in the major supermarkets have been running bare, with supplies being delayed due to Covid and high absenteeism rates.

In a statement released by Woolworths, they will now be reinstating product limits on toilet paper and analgesic products.

Woolworths Director of Stores Jeanette Fenske said they would continue to monitor other product availability across the stores.

“Customers will notice some gaps on shelves, but we’re doing all that we can to meet demands,” she said.

“We encourage everyone to be mindful of others in the community and to continue shopping in reasonable quantities.”

Dominic Doblo from Doblo’s Farmers Market is proud to announce that they are not being affected by supply issues.

“We have invested our profits back into the business so we can carry stock,” Mr Doblo said.

“As a kid in Rockhampton, we always had to carry extra stock because there was always something happening like floods, for instance.

“I have always had the simple rule in business that stock sells stock.

“The worst thing you can do is to leave fruit and vegetables outside, especially green vegetables. It can’t lose its cold.

“That’s why we built these cold rooms so we can transfer the produce straight from the trucks. If you keep it cold, it stays fresh.”

Mark Barry from Berry Good Produce has agreed that stock levels are fine but is seeing an increase in stock prices.

“We are finding price rises in green vegetables that are coming from the southern states,” he said.

“I haven’t seen a lot of panic buying because fruit and vegetables have a minimum shelf life.

“Although things like potatoes and sweet potato sales nearly tripled on Saturday.

“Our sweet potatoes, pumpkins, watermelons, and pineapples are all sourced locally.

“We have been getting busier due to supermarkets being low on stock, and I encourage people to continue buying local produce.”

On Sunday, 9 January, Boodles Meats did not open, and Parkhurst Quality Meats had to close early, as their trucks carrying supplies got stuck in the floods.

“On Saturday, we were told that our truck from down south was stuck at the abator,” Berenice Dash from Boodles Meats said.

“The truck was carrying our pigs and lambs, which we had to cut and process to refill the shelves.

“We have had a lot of customers concerned about not being able to get meat because of the supermarket chains being low in stock.

“So we picked up the slack with a lot of new faces coming through the door.

Parkhurst Quality Meat also noticed an increase in customers on Saturday, with other supermarkets being low in stock.

“We picked up a lot of customers chasing the basics,” Reggie Brook said.

“It was quite overwhelming with the number of people coming through the doors, but we handled it.

“As a business owner, I have to ensure that we are doing the right thing in terms of Covid.

“I had two guys that thought they had symptoms, so they had to isolate and not come to work.

“It was an extremely busy time, but I have a great team who was able to pick up the slack.

Fair Dinkum Meats in Emerald have also noticed an increase in customer base as local supermarket supplies fall low.

Store manager Aaron Huddy said in times like this, it is important to support local.

“Due to the lack of produce in the supermarkets, there has been an increase in customers,” he said.

“But not everyone panic buying per se.

“If we disappear people have to rely on the larger companies which we have seen as unreliable.

“We have a bigger supply network, so if something goes wrong, we have a second option, which supermarkets can’t do.”