Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce, businesses and farmers come together to buy and sell locally

TOGETHER: Sean Gleeson, Andy Roberts, Stuart Bate and the staff from Blue Buffalo come together to support local produce. PHOTO: Laura Telford.
TOGETHER: Sean Gleeson, Andy Roberts, Stuart Bate and the staff from Blue Buffalo come together to support local produce. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

From growers to business owners and consumers 2020 looks set to be the year to buy local in the Camden Haven.

The seeds have been sown for a collaboration with ideas forming about how local growers can connect with local business. The push also includes a focus on staying environmentally friendly.

Chamber of Commerce president Stuart Bate said the idea of being sustainable has been talked about for some time.

He says the chamber wants to see the planning come to fruition in 2020.

"Over the last few years a few local businesses have changed things to be more environmentally friendly including using recycled packaging but we want to see that go even further and encourage more businesses to get on board," Mr Bate said.

"We would also love to work more with local producers - from oysters to beef, vegetables to avocados and more to see how we can make it easier for local producers to sell local and local consumers to buy local.

"How we best do that is up for discussion and we would love to hear from people with their ideas to make it easier for everyone to support locally grown produce."

Farmer Sean Gleeson said the ideas around innovation and supporting locals can only be a good thing for the Camden Haven.

"As a farmer it really is about educating consumers about how and where they can buy local," Mr Gleeson said.

"It should not be hard to support our local farmers and in the Camden Haven and Hastings region there is so much great local produce. People should be able to get everything they need," he said.

"Buying local should not be a chore and people can tell the difference between a cucumber bought from a supermarket and one bought direct from a farmer.

"Making those interactions is key and we are hoping the community will come together so we can work out what will be best for all of us."

The other key part of the project is ensuring local businesses are onboard. Newly opened Blue Buffalo is leading by example, co-owner Brett Matthews said.

"We are only in week three of trading but we are doing everything we can to shop local for our fresh ingredients," he said.

"We have had businesses in Vietnam for a number of years and each day local produce is delivered to us. If we had our way we would get locally sourced produce to our door every morning here as well but that is not currently possible.

"We are working with as many local growers as we can to set up arrangements but welcome opportunities to make those connections easier.

"We have also advertised to buy home grown herbs from people so starting connections like that is also something we are interested in."

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council communications manager Andy Roberts said the community coming together can only benefit the Camden Haven.

"It is great to see another business open and invest in the Camden Haven and with a passion for locally sourced produce. It can only be a great thing for the community," Mr Roberts said.