The COVID-19 crisis is affecting everyone profoundly and in unprecedented ways. Here at SSMPA things are a little less complicated than at some bigger organizations. Our operations are run entirely by our volunteer board who are all working farmers and ranchers so social distancing hasn’t been a problem for us. We have no office to shut down and no staff to send home. But we’re wondering how you are doing.
Many producers are seeing a large increase in demand for their products but social distancing calls for some creative distribution solutions. It seems like a good opportunity to scale up operations but just last week the Ministry announced that we will be losing inspectors at the abattoirs due to recent budget cuts.
Our contact at the Ministry of Agriculture has been checking in with us to help the government understand how this crisis is affecting small-scale meat producers. We would appreciate it if you could take some time to tell us your story. Some questions to think about:
- How is COVID-19 affecting your operation?
- What pain-points/opportunities are you experiencing now.
- What concerns do you have looking towards the future both in the short and long term?
- Are you concerned about the availability of feed and/or other necessary supplies or services for your livestock?
- Has the closure of restaurants affected your business?
- If you supply grocery stores or other retail establishments, have you been affected?
- How has your communication with customers changed? What are telling you they are concerned about?
- What events/activities related to your business have been cancelled or postponed in your area?
- What precautions are you taking to ensure the safety of both your family and your customers?
- Do you rely on off-farm income to support your operation and if so, has that income been compromised?
- Have school closures and the resulting child-care challenges affected your ability to run operations?
Please feel free to speak to these and any other issues you are facing as a result of the COVID-19 situation. We want to be sure that your voice is heard.
FYI we will not share your personal information with anyone without your permission. Will will be sharing this information with people and organizations who are coordinating resources and support for our sector. Your name and any other obviously identifying information will be removed before your feedback is passed on. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this.
We encourage you to share this inquiry with other producers who may not already be on our mailing list.