Port of Newcastle is helping to bolster the Hunter Region’s economy by supporting local this Christmas following a tumultuous 18-months for small business at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said it was important to the Port and its people to give back this Christmas as the region begins to look forward to recovery beyond COVID-19.   

“The pandemic has hit regional economies and small businesses particularly hard across Newcastle and the Hunter Region. As a group our people came together to look at how we at the Port of Newcastle could further support local business and charities who have borne the brunt of this two-year long pandemic.

“This year in lieu of traditional gifts we gave our staff the choice to select to support a range of local businesses or one of our partner charities. It’s another small way we are working hand-in-hand with our local community to support the economic recovery and prosperity of the region which is perfectly aligned with the community and giving ethos strongly held by our people here at the Port,” said Mr Carmody.

One local business the Port is lending a hand to is Your Food Collective is a Newcastle based business encouraging people to eat and shop sustainability by sourcing fresh food and vegetables from local and artisanal growers and producers across the Hunter Region.

Your Food Collective CEO Lauren Branson said the Port’s support will have flow on effects throughout the supply chain, supporting many hard-working and passionate farmers and producers across the region.

“Our food choices are powerful and, when we get them right, have the ability to reduce the impacts of climate change, protect habitat for biodiversity and build happier healthier communities. Working with the Port of Newcastle to celebrate their staff this Christmas means they are not only saying Merry Christmas to their staff but also to local producers and our planet. It’s powerful,” said Ms Branson.

In the hampers You Food Collective have created for Port of Newcastle staff will feature a Hunter Natural free-range wood smoked leg of ham supporting the fifth generation sustainable graziers in the Upper Hunter.

Through their choices this Christmas Port of Newcastle staff have been able to support five local businesses in the food, hospitality and travel sectors or make a donation to one of Port of Newcastle’s workplace giving charities aligned with its Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Strategy including Ronald McDonald House, Beyond Blue, Hunter Wildlife Rescue and Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

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