Glenview, a suburb in Sydney’s west, has a booming market for fresh food, but a shortage of foodstamps has left some local businesses struggling to make ends meet.
Read moreFoodstuffsGlenview, Australia: Why does Glenview have a shortage?
The small suburb of Glenview has long been one of the most desirable locations in the country for locals looking to sell their produce, and for a growing number of locals too.
“The demand for local produce has been growing,” said Peter Fennell, a food business owner who has been involved in the local community for over 30 years.
“We’ve seen the demand from all over the state, so the market is booming.”
Glenmore residents have traditionally been the backbone of the local economy.
But the downturn has hit the local dairy industry hard.
As demand for produce from the nearby region and overseas has been hit hard by the financial crisis, some farmers have been forced to close.
The dairy industry in Glenmore has been affected by the economic downturn, which has seen the number of people in its workforce decrease from about 20,000 to around 12,000, and is currently on the verge of closure.
“It’s pretty sad that we can’t get anything out of the dairy industry,” said Fennel.
“It’s just a matter of time.”
The dairy business in Glenfield, Victoria, was hit hard as well.
The town is the heartland of the regional farming industry, with about 30 farms, a thriving market for produce and a thriving community.
“You’ve got to work with people that are in the community,” said John Fennells family farm manager, John.
“I’m sure that the farmers have their own issues to deal with, but that’s life in a small town.”
“We can’t even get a decent cup of coffee.
The only thing that we could get was one of those cheap coffee machines,” said farmer Peter Fynell.
Despite the local supply problems, the dairy business is not the only industry struggling to cope.
Glenfield’s unemployment rate is one of Victoria’s highest at 18.7 per cent.
That means around 3,000 people in the region have been out of work for over two years.
There is also a huge shortage of workers in the food industry.
The food industry has been able to cope with the economic crisis by hiring locally.
However, that has not been the case in the dairy and meat industries.
“When the downturn happened, the food and meat industry was really hard to do business with, so you’d have to start looking for other ways to survive,” said Mark Fennels senior manager, Mark.
“That was a tough time for all of us.
We didn’t have any income, and that really hit our family hard.””
The market for local meat has actually grown dramatically,” said Joe Fennils father, Joe.
“That’s a huge boon for us.”
A growing number have left the area.
The loss of a job in the industry can also have a lasting effect on the local area.
“People who have been affected [by the recession] may have to sell all their land, they may be forced to move out of town,” said Jane Fennills manager, Jane.
“They might have to move to the other side of the country, or they may have had to move away altogether.”
While the food sector is struggling, there are plenty of other jobs available.
The local cafe business is also thriving.
“A lot of people come in and go to the cafe for their coffee,” said Anne Fennill.
“Then they’ll go back to the dairy, and we’ll see people coming in for their milk.”
The restaurant business is struggling too.
“There’s a lot of empty space in the market, and when we go into our restaurants we’ve had to close down,” said Ms Fennil.
“There’s no one to cater for us.”
Our main customer is the supermarket, so they get to buy their milk and butter, and then they go back and get their food at the dairy,” she said.”
So we’re pretty much at the mercy of that.
“But the people here are fantastic. “
I’m glad that I’m not going to go to Glenview,” said Mr Fennll.
“But the people here are fantastic.
They’re just the people I know.”Read more