I’m getting frustrated by the current fundraising for farmers. Everywhere I go someone is asking me to donate money. Work had a morning tea, dress up day and a raffle. My bank kept asking if I wanted to donate every time I logged into the app. Going to the shops they ask for a donation. There’s a flood of fundraising efforts all over my social media feeds. This fundraising is great in a way. We need to be more aware and actively supportive of our farmers. Right now, there’s a lot that are doing it tough. However, I fail to see how buying a bale and dressing up to give five for a farmer is going to help in the long run.
Why isn’t everyone switching to buying local? Let’s all find ways to buy food that ensure that the producers are the ones making the most profits, not multinational companies. Thanks to the rise of hipster and alternative lifestyles, these days it’s much easier to source local products. Farmers markets, independent grocers, local butchers or at the very least independently owned supermarkets are all fantastic places to find local products. Sure, they’re not always as convenient as popping down to your major super market. But what is convenient for you is incredibly inconvenient for our farmers. Just ask the dairy farmers about that one.
Buying a bale isn’t a bad thing. Spending money on a sausage sizzle that’s donating the proceeds to people in need is fabulous. You get fed, and they get support. The reason I’m grumpy about all of this is that it’s not sustainable. We need to change our long-term actions if there’s going to be a permanent positive change. Buying local isn’t going to break the drought. But it has the potential to make our farmers more financially resilient so that when the hard times hit there’s no need for five for a farmer.