How a small farm shop benefits from Covid-19

By Pauline Stahl

Apples and potatoes, grain and meat, yogurt and cheese – the product range of the farm shop in Ernsthausen, a small village in Germany, is broad. And everything that can be bought here, is organic.
While other businesses all over the world are suffering from the negative effects of Corona, shops have to close and people lose their jobs, the number of customers of the farm shop is increasing lately. “Coronavirus affects us in the sense that we have many more customers because they don’t want to go to big supermarkets anymore”, says Silke Radu, who owns the farm.

The farm, that has been owned and cultivated by three generations of one family, is surrounded by green trees and fields. On 240 hectare land, of which 110 are green- and 130 hectares are farmland, family members and staff produce spelt, wheat, oats, potatoes, peas and much more. All of it is produced without genetic modification.

“The concept of our shop is to sell our own products”, says Radu. “We had milk, potatoes, eggs that we wanted to sell.” Additionally, the woman started to make cheese and finally included this into their product range. Because the request for other products such as apples and grain got bigger, the family expanded the offer. By now they describe themselves as a “customer-oriented” shop that sells, what the people need.

Lately, that means especially offering a huge amount of every product. Since the Corona-crisis started, more and more people are doing their grocery shopping in the farm shop. “They don’t want to go to the big supermarkets anymore”, is how Radu explains the increasing number of customers. Because the shop is very small, only a restricted amount of people can come inside at the same time. Who wishes, can use hand sanitizer, that dangles from a post next to the door.

“Luckily our staff is able to work more”, says Radu. “They don’t have other jobs or college at the moment.” That makes it possible for the shop to meet the higher demand for products. “Thereby we can make this.”

 

In this video, I visited the farm shop and talked to Silke Radu about the concept of her organic farm shop and how Covid-19 is impacting her business.

 

How is it possible that a small farm shop like this benefits from COVID-19, while other shops are struggling?
Answer the question below to find out if you know the right answer!