Oats firm rolls out charity support

After a rise in sales about the time of the lockdown, Dunedin oats manufacturer Harraways has found a way to give back to the community.

Over the next six months it will give more than 100,000 servings — some 5000kg — of oats to Salvation Army foodbanks in Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill.

"This came out through our period of lockdown," Harraways chief executive Henry Hawkins said.

"Obviously, it was a good time for Harraways in terms of sales and productivity.

"Our board and our owners ... decided it was important to give back to the community, especially when we’ve seen some of the the hardship just outside our door," he said.

"All of our gain allowed us the ability to give back."

Salvation Army captain David McEwen (left) and Harraways chief executive Henry Hawkins on...
Salvation Army captain David McEwen (left) and Harraways chief executive Henry Hawkins on Thursday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The Salvation Army was dealing with a 300% increase in food parcel demand as people struggled amid the economic fallout from Covid-19, and Mr Hawkins said it was good to support an organisation that had such wide reach in the South Island.

"The Salvation Army centres around New Zealand are doing wonderful work to support Kiwis in need and the organisation stretches its effort even further in times of great challenge like we are seeing presently."

The oats company’s sales had started to tail off compared with the success it had had at the time of the lockdown, Mr Hawkins said.

"We’ve traded well right up until now.

"But I think we’re starting to see some of the effects of what’s happening out there in New Zealand at the moment and just a slight downturn in sales.

"We’re still positive we’re going to trade well through the rest of the year."

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