On Monday, Antoine and the team got to work coordinating the sourcing and delivery of produce for the week. A mammoth effort.
He contacted every farmer they had placed an order with, asking:
- How are you, your family and your farm?
- Were you able to harvest before the storm hit?
- If yes, where is the produce now?
- If no, are you still able to harvest and send some of it directly to Food Connect?
To make things easier for farmers who were able to harvest food, Antoine coordinated centralised drop off points in different regions so that produce from multiple farms could be delivered in one go. He also kept delivery drivers updated on flood levels, road conditions and alternative routes. Antoine shares, “I did think it would be very hard to get the food down to Brisbane, as the main access roads were already blocked either by water, landslides or debris. In some cases, the asphalt on the roads had even cracked and broken apart.” Delivery times were extended, with trips that usually take 35 minutes, taking over 2 hours. But despite the odds, they managed to make it work.
Remarkably, with minimal disruption, deliveries to customers began on Wednesday. The team were inundated with feedback and appreciation from many of their customers who had understandably expected they would not be receiving their orders at all that week.