It's an understatement to say that times are tough right now. While the pandemic has touched Australians from every walk of life, for our farming community the challenges of COVID-19 are merely the latest in a long line of devastating blows. Blows that include droughts, floods, bushfires, and — most recently — plagues of marauding mice. And all in the last few years.
Living and working on the land has never been easy, but this succession of events has resulted in severely impacted crop yields and livestock, leaving hardworking farmers — cattle farmers, grain growers and more —struggling to make ends meet.
But when the going gets tough, Australians stick together. In the spirit of Aussie mateship, we've teamed up with Drought Angels— a passionate and dedicated non-profit that supports farmers and regional communities impacted by natural disasters — to help bring some joy and relief to dads doing it tough this Father’s Day.
“We are so excited to partner with Amazon Australia to help deliver some smiles to farming fathers across the country,” says founder and CEO of Drought Angels, Natasha Johnston. “We sometimes forget that these men are not just the workers on the land, but also husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers. They do all this to put food on families' tables — not just their own, but ours too.”
Together, Drought Angels and Amazon Australia have provided 500 farming fathers nationwide with specially curated Father’s Day Relief Hampers. Packed by volunteers, these gift packages contain products sourced from local Aussie businesses. Products include all-natural sunscreen from Little Urchin, premium coffee and reusable cup from Pablo & Rusty, reusable drink bottle from June and Juniper, socks from Sock Daily, soft shackles from Bog Out and organic, grass-fed Aussie Beef Jerky from Chief Australia.
“It is a real privilege to be part of this campaign to help hard working Farmer Dads celebrate Father’s Day." said Chris Mathews from Little Urchin. "We are proud to be providing them with an all-natural, toxic free product that will help protect them when they are out working on the land.”
Meet Eliza and Scott
Eliza and Scott Borchardt are just one of the country’s farming families who have experienced the financial and emotional toll of these ongoing disasters.
“Most farmers can survive a drought or flood, but it’s all the other things on top of this that makes it harder,” reflects Eliza.
After surviving the ongoing drought when the much-needed rain did come, it was at the wrong time, which impacted their yield. And then came the biggest flood they had on record and then the second mice plague — “they came big, bigger than ever” — a plague that quite literally, has eaten the family out of house and home.
“They have decimated our harvest,” she continues. “In the house they ate everything in the pantry, the dishwasher had its inside eaten, the skirting boards are chewed through, my clothes and shoes were used for nests, and we’ve had to surround Max's cot in buckets of water, so they don't climb up. They are just relentless.”
“We’re trying hard to have enough resilience, but we’re also really feeling the mental, emotional and financial strain.”
When Scott received his Relief Hamper as an early Father’s Day gift, he was blown away.
“Wow this is amazing,” he enthused, close to tears. “I was not expecting this — are you sure there isn’t someone else that could use these?”
"His response is characteristic of farming folk", says Jenny Gailey, Director at Drought Angels.
“I cannot tell you how many times we’ve heard this from our farmers. They’re always thinking of others and rarely think of themselves.
“When I went on to explain that each item was from a small to medium sized Australian company that worked with Amazon, he didn’t know that this was even possible — for these small Aussie businesses to work so closely with a large international organisation like Amazon, was a huge surprise to him.”
The partnership with Drought Angels is part of Amazon Australia’s ongoing commitment to support local communities across the nation, especially during and after natural disasters. Using Amazon’s unique capabilities, along with cash donations, to- date Amazon have helped deliver more than 3,000 hampers packed full of essentials and treats to farming families doing it tough.
“It’s wonderful to be able to work with Drought Angels and small Aussie businesses to provide some relief to farming families doing it tough” said Charlotte Richardson, Community Engagement Manager at Amazon Australia. “It’s been such a challenging year for so many and knowing we have provided a little relief is very special.”
“Given what they’ve been through, it’s understandable that our farmers loose hope,” says Jenny. “And while they’re resilient, it’s the small acts of support and kindness, like this, that help to get them through it, to encourage them to keep going, with the knowledge that we have their backs.”
Amazon Australia and Drought Angels welcome all Australians to get on board by supporting our farming community. Find out more.