HELP US OUT: A farmer has called for special shopping times allocated to rural residents but Woolworths said they are already working with their remote customers.
HELP US OUT: A farmer has called for special shopping times allocated to rural residents but Woolworths said they are already working with their remote customers.

Farmer calls for designated rural shopping times

FED up with not being able to find the things he needs, a Southern Downs farmer has called for allocated grocery shopping times dedicated to those living on the land.

Queen Mary Falls dairy and broccoli farmer Jim Watts said the 50km trip into town to feed his four boys was wasted when there was nothing left on the shelves.

“My wife works in town so she goes to Woolworths at 3pm and there’s nothing, and if there is we are restricted about how many items we can buy,” he said.

“So I went to see if it would be different early in the morning but the shelves looked like someone had gone in and sucked everything up with a vacuum cleaner.”

Mr Watts proposed a solution that would see large rural families avoid wasting time or money on grabbing essentials.

“I reckon they should have a day where the shelves are restocked for farmers and we can go in and get what we need with no restrictions,” he said.

“I’m not asking for a palace but we’re the backbone of Australia and the ones who have to bear the drought, the fires and now this when the farmers are keeping the country and the supermarkets going.”

Mr Watts said he was concerned the supermarkets did not have as much produce and meat in supply as they advertised.

But Allora farmer Jeff Lack said fresh produce was actually in high supply.

“Australia is actually in a fruit and vegetable surplus at the moment,” he said.

“There’s no shortage and there never has been.”

Woolworths have assured customers they are working with rural residents to serve their needs.

“We appreciate the limits have been frustrating for our remote customers,” a Woolworths spokesman said.

“We’re working to provide flexibility on limits to our existing remote customers where we have the stock levels in a store to support it.”

The supermarket giant said it was willing to work with rural residents where possible, if they reached out beforehand.

The leniency will be given to those living 100km or more away from the nearest store and are rewards members.



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