The COVID-19 crisis has brought out Farm Credit customers’ creativity as they explore new ways to sustain their businesses and support their communities despite the sudden changes in market demands.
Social distancing mandates have temporarily shuttered restaurants and businesses across the country, dramatically altering consumers’ purchasing options. However, instead of being discouraged, Farm Credit customers have responded in a myriad of ways, adapting their businesses to meet consumers’ changing needs.
Boxes of farm-fresh goods
Harmony Harvest, a mother/daughter-owned flower company in Weyers Cave, Virginia, and Farm Credit of the Virginias customers, launched a flower box delivery service. Different than what one would typically expect, Harmony Harvest’s boxes provide everything that purchasers need to create their own stunning arrangement. This newly designed product provides customers both a beautiful bouquet and an activity for those with newfound downtime.
Taking a similar route, Eli and Misty Cook of Spring Valley Farm and Orchard have been filling boxes, not with flowers, but with fruits and vegetables. While the Cooks usually market their goods through farmers markets, they now offer everything from asparagus to apples via pick-up and drop-off to help keep grocery shopping socially distanced and stress free.
From beverages to sanitizers
Other producers have taken a completely different approach, fundamentally changing their business in response to COVID-19 needs. For example, overwhelmed by the number of requests they were receiving from hospitals, public services and first responders, Dida’s Distillery chose to pivot from spirits such as brandy, vodka and gin to only making hand sanitizer. While the cost is high, they found it impossible to say no to hospitals calling them each morning asking for help, when they had all the alcohol needed for the project. As of April 25, Dida’s Distillery had made over 1,700 gallons of hand sanitizer, worth nearly $90,000, and donated it to more than 100 agencies in need. (See video).
As our customers develop new and innovative ways to both serve consumers’ needs and keep their own businesses thriving, Farm Credit associations have been there every step of the way, ready to help in any way that we can.
This is the third blog post in the series, “Farm Credit COVID-19 Response.” Read on for information highlighting how Farm Credit institutions are supporting their communities through the crisis.