Food Lover's Market has launched the "Our Farmers, Our Heroes" campaign to shine a spotlight on the critical role of farmers during Covid-19, highlighting retailers' continued commitment to its network of 400 farmers and 80 smallholder growers during the pandemic and the consequent national lockdown.
South Africa is a net exporter of food to Africa and the world, but with lockdown and Covid-19 some farmers are finding it difficult to cope financially. Government has ring-fenced R1.2bn for assistance to mainly targeting financially distressed small-scale farmers - but this does not extend to farmers who are preparing for the 2020 summer production season.
"With the agricultural industry in distress globally, we are very fortunate that our farmers are still able to supply us with fresh produce - the part we have to play is to continue our support as retailers," says Brian Coppin, Food Lover’s Market CEO.
The campaign has rolled out as an advertisement - aired on television in the week of 12 April - advertising in national and local print, as well as digital ads.
This will be supported by a digital campaign focused on highlighting the important work down by farmers and allowing consumers to thank them for the work they do, through social media posts.
Coppin says: "During this pandemic, ensuring the supply of food is a critical focus area. Thanks to our incredible farmers, we are confident that our supply of fresh produce is guaranteed. Our commitment to farmers has been to continue purchasing fresh produce from farmers and smallholder growers at market-related prices as a way to maintain a sustainable supply to our stores - but also as an act of gratitude for the enormously important work that they do."
Forming part of the Food Lover’s Market family and helping to ensure that the retailer consistently delivers on its "Best in Fresh" brand promise is FVC International - the largest importer of fresh produce into South Africa. As well as the fastest-growing exporter, the company ships more than 7,000 containers each year and exports to more than 35 countries worldwide. It also has its own logistics company in partnership with two of the largest producers in South Africa.
Improving access to fresh and healthy food
"Giving customers the best tasting, nutritious fresh produce is at the heart of everything we do – from working closely with our farmers and suppliers who grow and produce food, to our expert partners who are passionate about every step of its journey, from field to fork."
"We remain committed to offering South Africans affordable quality produce. As we’ve seen the advent of digi-dining during the lockdown, with more and more home cooks taking to social media to show the delicious meals they’ve made, it’s important to remember that every single meal is as a result of the great agricultural industry we have in South Africa," concludes Coppin.
The campaign will run on various media platforms over four weeks. During this time, customers are encouraged to get involved by dropping a note of thanks on their social media platforms by tagging @foodloversmarket #FoodLoversUnite on Facebook