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2020 was ticking along just nicely and in fact, a little bit ahead of normal in the world of food and beverage ingredients with lots of exciting new opportunities and launches confirmed, Quick Service Restaurants trialling new things and targeted growth numbers started to look promising.

Enter March 2020 and everything has changed, the restaurants are closed and just doing takeaway, new launches are a thing of the distant past, the opportunity into foodservice has all but stopped in its tracks. Retail, on the other hand, is under pressure in so many aspects, some manufacturers simply can't keep up while others are closing the doors - is now the time to reach out and help each other? I recently saw a great example of this with Sydney Direct Fresh Produce & Harris Farms - once servicing different markets, now teammates!

The excess in the Australian market

BUT... the raw material is still there, the farmers still need to move not only the first-grade product to the supermarkets but the second and third-grade product that they used to supply to major restaurants, this has all but dried up but may have been planned based on hundreds of tons. These farmers have already had a tough year, first with drought, then with fire and now a pandemic sweeping the globe.

One of the biggest hit areas will be the ever-popular AVOCADO which was once accused of slowing the housing market, the Aussie supply price-driven higher and higher by minimal raw material available and our love for weekend smashed avo on toast. Large manufacturers were pushed to buy overseas pulp and now there is that much Australian raw material available we are challenged to find a home for it and in turn, those farmers will be the ones to suffer again.

How we're making use of the excess material

At AustChilli, we take the raw material (Aussie avocados and around 50 other raw materials from chilli, vegetables and herbs) from these farmers and manufacture them into puree and pulps that then subsequently end up on the retail shelf. These ingredients go into anything from bread and wraps to dips, juices, ice creams, sauces, marinades, butter and chocolate, and the list goes on. Almost all of the food found in our supermarkets has the ability to use a pureed ingredient.

In these times, we can support the grower, the manufacturer, the retailer, the customer and more than anything, keep our fantastic staff in work and keep providing ingredients to put food on your table. It is time to think differently and it is time to understand how we can all work together and support each other as businesses during these times and to keep our great Australian Spirit moving.

 

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