Shopping for Central Otago fresh produce and finding free local goodies could be easier soon with the development of an online directory focused on supporting local producers, according to not-for-profit community growth organisation Connect Cromwell.
Local Natalie Wilson said the idea had come from her desire to make it easier for people to shop local and support businesses through tough economic times.
“There are some amazing growers and producers in the region - our fruit, cheese, olive oils and wine are some of the best in the world, but it can take time searching online to find what you’re looking for and some smaller producers don’t have websites,” said Wilson.
“Like others in the Cromwell community, I have been wanting to support locals, and setting up the directory is an easy way to quickly see what’s available and what can be delivered to your door.”
Wilson is inviting local producers to list their business for free on her site, which has yet to be named. It is to be developed and hosted by Connect Cromwell, whose mission is to support the emergence and growth of community-led development in the Cromwell district, with help from the Cromwell & Districts Promotion Group.
Wilson felt the global coronavirus pandemic had made people think differently about how and where they shop.
“Coronavirus had a huge impact on our community,” she said. “As regular routes to markets have been shut down, local producers have found themselves with excess produce to sell. The online directory will connect buyers with sellers, and make it easier for locals to find their favourite producers in one place.”
The site will also feature sources of free local fruit and produce.
Further down the line, Wilson said she believed there could be opportunities to expand the idea to showcase other local products and services. For now, though, the project will target Central Otago producers based in Cromwell or able to deliver to Cromwell.
It was expected that the site would be operational by the end of May. Anyone wanting to list their business (or help name the site) can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read edition 974 of the Wānaka Sun here.