Computer Crime Research Center


Meet the cyber farmers -- online market beats drought

Date: September 22, 2008

DROUGHT-battered farmers are taking on supermarkets to survive on the land they love, delivering meat directly to city consumers.

After eight years of the big dry, a growing number of producers are taking control of the food chain, setting up online butcher services. By selling direct from paddock to plate they hope to ease their family's exposure to the drought.

But the farmers aren't the only ones benefiting -- it lowers the cost of meat for families struggling with soaring grocery bills.

The latest figures show 71.6 per cent of the state has been drought declared -- a 5.4 per cent rise from last month.

Consumer group Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said in some cases it was a cheaper alternative for consumers to buy meat in bulk.

But he said price was not the only drawcard for consumers buying direct from the farm.

Mr Zinn said in the past two years there had been a noticeable trend from consumers who wanted to know where their food came from.

"We can go to major supermarkets and one week get asparagus from Peru and the next from South Australia," Mr Zinn said.

"Branding has become important in what people are looking to buy."

Sixth-generation farmers Jamie and Wendy Bowman, who run a 3237ha property with his brother Hugh near Young have set up their own website

"Farming is changing, what they did 60 years ago is the opposite these days," Jamie Bowman said. "The drought put us under the pump and we needed to come up with alternative ways to make an income."

After selling through word of mouth, they started Moppity Meats last November and are now delivering around 20 boxes a week, between eight to 10kg, around Sydney.

Keeping costs low and local, they have teamed up with a local butcher and abattoir to help businesses in drought-stricken towns survive.

They also send customers information about the farm and are currently working with a chef in Orange on recipes.

"We handle the animals differently with low stress so the meat is tender," he said.

Sydney mum Rachel Saunders started buying from Moppity Meats six months ago because it was at least $50 cheaper than buying the same meat at a supermarket.
Original article

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo