It promised to be a bumper Christmas for fresh food wholesalers at the Sydney Markets, but then came the latest Covid-19 surge. The market is the largest in Australia and one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, but with more than 5,700 new cases reported in Sydney on Thursday, demand for fresh produce has tapered off.
A lot of events have been cancelled and restaurants, bars and clubs have cut back as people stay home for Christmas. Some have shut their doors because too many staff are having to stay home to isolate.
Chris Parisi runs a big operation that includes wholesale and retail outlets at Barangaroo and the Queen Victoria Building. He said when the city came out of lockdown, demand increased about 30 per cent.
"You couldn't book a restaurant anywhere and that lasted for about six or eight weeks, and now unfortunately things have reduced again due to the Covid situation." He said finding pickers, packers, drivers and clerical staff to run the business when it was stopping and starting due to the pandemic was also a big problem.