Unprecidented change

By Jen Scoular, May 2020

It’s been impressive watching our pack sheds set up to operate under lockdown, and doubly so for the kiwifruit sheds taking on the start of harvest under lockdown. Proving certainly that change is challenging, but it is not impossible.

It’s now up to all of us to take some learnings from this global pandemic. Plastic has certainly been more evident, but hasn’t it been great to see so few cars on the road and hearing stories of landscapes being visible for the first time in decades?

I am certainly missing my colleagues and my friends. We had an NZ Avocado Board meeting last week, and no-one could suggest the team hasn’t been very productive over lockdown but isolation has its downside. I’m definitely Zoomed-out. Sure, online meetings are efficient, and easy, though my rural broadband doesn’t always let me stay on video throughout the call. But after an online meeting you sometimes do need to just chat about people’s reactions or comments, not formally, but chew the fat to make sure you got the right view or version of their opinion. I miss being able to share ideas, miss the chat in the corridor, I miss hearing the chatter in the tea room, or the conversation team mates are having in the office next door. I don’t want to make my own mind up every day about everything, I enjoy the to and fro with others, adding their ideas to mine, letting other conversations add thinking or dimension to my thoughts.

I do enjoy hearing people talk about supporting local businesses, I had a call with a CEO who complemented me on the online avocado package she had just received. I hear from those marketing avocados online that this has created some real opportunity for them. I know the full economic impact of COVID 19 hasn’t hit yet and that it will hamper what we do for a good while yet, but I like the new conversations about buying local, going local, supporting New Zealand business.

Life over lockdown has been a bit like slow cooking, perhaps we shouldn’t rush back to a rushed life. Let’s make sure we take on some learnings from this, lets hold on to the lovely concepts of kindness and looking out for each other, and make sure that means supporting each other’s businesses too.

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