During the MCO, every sector of the economy that wasn’t an essential service struggled to stay alive. Many people lost their jobs and their main source of income. In times like these, it’s hard to remain hopeful for the future. Thankfully, not all hope is lost.
Amidst the economic downfall, a local initiative known as OURFARM by AirAsia, rose up to provide opportunities for workers in industries that were neglected and retrenched. Not only did they give jobs to those who had lost them, but they also saved tons of fresh produce from going to waste. Recently, WORLD OF BUZZ spoke with some of these individuals to find out more about the initiative:
None To Waste
“One of the main challenges I faced is to market my produce. I’ve been selling my produce at a few markets and when Covid-19 hit, and the markets were closed, I was unable to market my produce and it caused oversupply which unfortunately had to go to waste,” shared 9-year-agriculture entrepreneur, Haji Zulkifli bin Haji Ahmad with WORLD OF BUZZ.
But with OURFARM in the picture, Zulkifli said he could market his fresh produce to various businesses while ensuring his family is taken care of, “we are in the talks to potentially market carrot, green peas, sweet potato and mustard green from my farm to various businesses here in Klang Valley which I am very excited about as it will provide steady demand and income for my family.”
Nonetheless, it isn’t just vegetation farmers that suffer from the toll of the pandemic. Founders of Tres Pollos Charcoal Chicken at The Lorong, Nilai told WORLD OF BUZZ that they too shared a similar problem with poultry supply.
“Prior to ordering from OURFARM, we got our supply from a poultry company. However recently, they have informed us that they were short on supply. OURFARM came just at the right time and was able to deliver a steady weekly supply of chickens for us. They even offer savings with each order, enabling us to increase our profit margin.” The initiative provided such relief to these farmers that they are now considering to expand their menu and offerings. “We are also looking to make orders for other types of fresh produce with OURFARM in the near future.”
New Industry, Same Spirit
39-year-old retrenched Senior Cabin Crew member, Mohammed Hazree, said he was initially concerned when the concept of OURFARM was introduced to him as it was a whole new different industry. “Initially, I was rather concerned because I didn’t have the knowledge about the agriculture industry.”
However, Hazree soon realised that he could still apply many aspects from his previous job into the opportunities that OURFARM gave him. “I must say that while the career change is indeed 180 degrees from my previous job as a cabin crew, the Allstar spirit is absolutely the same.”
“For instance, as a cabin crew, we were trained to handle people. We were professionally trained to communicate effectively, stay calm when facing unusual situations and are able to quickly solve problems should we face any. We are also certified food handlers, and even got vaccinated for this.”
Hazree thanks OURFARM for allowing him to explore career opportunities that are out of his comfort zone despite being retrenched from his previous role. “I am very thankful for this opportunity and that OURFARM recognises my talent beyond my previous
“With my new job, I am proud to say that I was able to help my friends who are in the F&B business by supplying fresh chickens weekly from OURFARM with greater savings, which in turn provides additional income to our local farmers.”
Why businesses should try OURFARM
If you’re a struggling farmer or fresh produce entrepreneur that’s looking for ways to secure your business during this unstable economic period, OURFARM might be a safe bet. Take it from the farmers themselves:
“Whether you are a government registered farmer, or local private and independent producers, I recommend you to register with OURFARM as part of your marketing effort as this one-of-a-kind matchmaking e-commerce platform complete with a logistic service will take your business further.” – Haji Zulkifli bin Haji Ahmad, Agripreneur at Beruntung Woods.
“We strongly recommend small and medium businesses to order from OURFARM as it will not just provide the freshest produce, but also help the local farmers directly – which is important especially in the current situation.” – Irawan Santosa (Cody), Cabin Crew at AirAsia X Malaysia (since 2006) and Co-Founder of Tres Pollos Charcoal Chicken.
If you’re interested to find out more, you can visit OURFARM’s website here.
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