The recent events surrounding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak has forced all of us to rethink how we undertake many aspects of our daily lives, both at work and at home.
Boomaroo Nurseries would like to share with you the steps we are taking to ensure the safety of our people and reassure you of our high standard of service during this challenging time.
As you’ll appreciate, the situation remains dynamic and rapidly evolving, however our core message at this stage is that Boomaroo is operating “business as usual” for the sowing, growing and delivery of seedlings for our customers.
Here are some of the important areas we are able to provide clarity around:
The Agricultural sector as an ‘essential service’
On 25th March Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has confirmed Australia’s food production and supply chain will not be affected by coronavirus shutdowns, stating:
“The Commonwealth is guaranteeing food production and supply as we deal with the virus’s spread……I am in constant dialogue with farming groups, the States, supermarkets and my department to make sure there’s food on the table for all Australians…..As far as the Commonwealth is concerned, food production and supply is an essential service.”
Individual states are yet to make their own public declarations on the matter, however Boomaroo has made submissions to both the Hon. Jaclyn Symes, Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Regional Development and Resources, and Hon. Mark Furner, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, as well as local Members of Parliament, for a ruling confirming that the fresh produce supply chain, including Boomaroo Nurseries, meets the required criteria to be classified as an ‘Essential Service’ during the present and future COVID-19 restrictions.
State Border Closures
Following the rapid closure of many state borders to ‘non-essential’ visitors, it has been made clear that the freight and distribution of goods, including those critical to the food supply chain, are permitted in all instances.
With formal Government processes yet to be finalised for border control checkpoints, including the requirement for a permit to enter Queensland, our drivers have all been issued with documentation supporting the necessity for interstate travel. Once in place, all required government protocols will be strictly adhered to ensuring our continued supply of product to customers across all states.
Continuity of Supply
Boomaroo Nurseries is closely monitoring the global impacts of COVID-19. We have been working with our supply partners for several weeks and have taken proactive measures to bolster our stock-on-hand of critical products such as seed, mix and chemicals as well as the placement of forward orders to make sure we are protected against any interruptions in local and international distribution chains.
We strongly encourage our customers to confirm their seedling needs with Boomaroo as far into the future as possible. This will help us both ensure we have secured the seed we need for your program and give us a chance to purchase seed before further price increases start to come through. Many customers in the last few days have given us full-year programs to assist with our planning, which has already been a big help.
Further risk management strategies have been put into action to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our team members, and provide further security to our customers that supply will continue uninterrupted. These strategies include the implementation of strict hygiene and social distancing protocols, changes to our team structures and workplace practices, as well as how we conduct face-to-face business with our customers and supply chain partners.
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone in our community. We also know that as an industry, we have proven time again an ability to rise above the challenges that the environment, economic forces and social change presents to us. We have done this by being innovative, resourceful and collaborative – characteristics that will see us emerge from the other side of our current situation. Let us all do what we can, where we can.
Stay well, stay safe.