WHY WE NEED HELP:
Covid-19 has devastated our ability to have channels to sell our organic fruits and vegetables. Our restaurant clients are cutting back severely and have had their own devastating loss of business. They make up 75% of our revenue stream. Our farmers' market customers are still able to purchase from us, but this is an evolving situation that changes daily, and the volume of demand is hard to predict with the current social restrictions and hoarding behaviors. We truly do not know how to forecast in this climate.
So we are in the predicament of having an abundance of food to sell, and our normal channels for selling are cut off from us. We are coming up with new ideas to create pre-made Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, that we are calling Grab and Go Boxes, for quick, low contact transactions at new distribution points. This is a complete change to our business operations that we are trying to figure it out overnight.
But it is evident that it will not be enough to make up for the loss of revenue we are facing in the coming weeks. March is the time of year when the restaurants and small farms in the Phoenix area make the most money. Spring training, nice weather and the abundance of produce that is available for harvest this time of year is what carries our business and the businesses we work with through the summer months. We have been planting for months and have an abundance of items in the ground that need to be tended to or all of that produce will be lost.
The Phoenix summer is when all of our businesses slow down and unfortunately COVID-19 is particularly devastating to our industry and the restaurant industry, because it came right at the height of our cash flow cycles.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP:
We want to keep our employees paid and working as long as we possibly can. Our two farms are very labor-intensive and if our employees are not able to work, we will not be able to harvest, pack and sell the produce we are growing to the customers who need and want it right now. We have food, but without labor, we can not do anything with it.
We have forecasted how long we can last while stopping payment to all of the other expenses necessary to operate our business and the answers are grim. Our business runs on tight margins and high overhead. We are looking into relief funding or business loans, but the answers there are few and far between and many others who are overwhelmed along with us.
So we are asking that anyone who can donate to help keep us to please help.
This is money that will go directly to our payroll expenses to keep our employees working so we can keep food in the supply chain. Without this we will not be able to sell the food we have currently, and we will not be able to tend to the crops in the ground that could be distributed in the future.
Farms are living things that need to be nurtured and tended to for survival, and we can't do that without money.
Food starts with us.
Please donate if you can and share this page with your social network community. Every little bit helps!
Our sincere thanks,
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- Julie Chisholm
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