Battling Gympie farmers issue passionate plea for help
MUCH loved Gympie region business Rhodavale Pork has issued a plea for support to local butchers as they face the possibility of closing down after more than 10 years.
Rhodavale co-owner Melinda Murnane opened up on the farm's Facebook page shortly after she and husband Brad gave an interview on their situation to Seven News.
Earlier this week Kandanga Country Meats announced they were shutting up shop, continuing a sad string of local business closures in recent months.
"It's no secret we are doing it tough, but our situation is so real right now that without significant increased sales to cover expenditure within the next few weeks, we will inevitably have to shut our doors, becoming the next faceless victims of the pork pricing crises coupled with the exponential cost of grain,” Melinda's post read.
"We have worked so hard over the past 10 years to build our business from scratch and produce a local, free range & pastured pork product that has an incredible reputation for quality and consistency.”
Mrs Murnane told The Gympie Times chances were high Rhodavale would not get the help it needed until too late.
"It goes for anything really, it's not just with us. People don't realise what they've got until it's gone,” she said.
"Our stock is there, our consistency is there, everything is there except for sales,” she said.
"Our price for premium product only used to cost a couple of dollars more than the supermarket, and now that gap is much larger.”
"Owning your own business is tough, but if your business is on the farm it's a whole new level. There's no separation from work life and home life, you live at work.
"We bought our farm and built it from scratch and it's really daunting to imagine what would be out there for us if we have to close down. This is our life.”
Mrs Murnane said Rhodavale had received an increase in public orders since appearing on the news, but the business would need a hand from butchers to save their situation.
"We love people supporting us, it's really fabulous, but we need an increase on volume orders.
"It could be three to four butcher shops supporting us with buying whole caracasses, and that could make all the difference.
"What can we say? We'd just ask that butchers support locals with a passion for what they do.”