Since Covid-19 stopped tourism and resorts shut their doors, local growers have had fewer options when it comes to offloading their fresh fruit and vegetables.
For some, earnings from what they sold to resorts and others businesses was the majority of their weekly income.
Prime Foods has always supported local growers and purchased from local suppliers when the stock was available.
Due to a shortage in supply, they have set out on Facebook to find locals to purchase fresh and vegetables from.
Prime Foods managing director Daniel Forsyth said they try their best to source as many local products as possible and have a deep respect for the growers in Rarotonga and the outer islands.
This philosophy is shared by many of Prime Foods’ customers who prefer to support local over imported produce.
“We currently buy from eggplants, tomatoes, green and mixed colour capsicum and courgettes from Mangaia. In the past there had been broccoli and cauliflower and are working with other growers to increase our product range.
“From Ma‘uke we buy ginger, turmeric, lime, pineapples and courgettes.”
There has also been an increase in demand for organic produce even though prices are higher, Forsyth said.
A growing number of customers are conscious of the benefits that organic grown produce offers.
“We know from experience that “buying local” directly supports families and indirectly supports the community and our economy,” he said.
“Sourcing locally also provides our customers with the freshest produce from farm to table - this leads to a longer shelf life on products and in the end a healthier option over imported produce.”