Message from Lisa Carroll, CEO NATIVE EXTRACTS
To all our valued customers, growers and partners,
I hope you and your families are all safe and well. Thank you for all your kind messages, thoughts, and check-ins over the past week as we endured a "Local Area Emergency." They were much appreciated.
It was a BIG week when the floods hit so fast, and another BIG week last week as we started back, so sorry for the big email! With our HQ and our team's homes spread across a declared flood disaster zone, we were all in full survival mode for that week, focusing on our team's and communities’ safety.
Now that the NATIVE EXTRACTS team has returned to full operations. I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding in receiving delayed email replies, and your support while we continue to navigate this extreme natural disaster in our region (Northern Rivers, NSW). We are extremely lucky, with no serious impact to NATIVE's HQ, but nonetheless it is extremely humbling in the face of what surrounds us.
Our communications (wifi and phones) were down for a week. Many of us were water-locked from our facility, while others focused on helping their communities. It is beyond devastating - the loss of lives, homes, businesses, crops, livestock, etc. We were quickly out of fuel, food, communications and power, with ATMs down (cash only) - and it continues to unfold, and will take a long time to recover.
Officially declared a National Disaster, already, over 2,000 homes in just the town of Lismore have been certified as condemned and uninhabitable. You can imagine how many others there are across the region. We have evacuation centres caring for people that cannot return to their homes or businesses either temporarily or indefinitely. Many just had time to walk out of their homes with a backpack, kids and pets, and are now facing the damage and loss. Words can't explain the current events in our region.
The clean-up has started, and it is an incomprehensible job to take on. People are still being rescued by boats and one incredible local has even co-ordinated 17 private helicopters. The selflessness and humanity we have seen over this past week has been incredible. These towns are so strong in the human spirit, resourceful and pure inspiration.
Every available vessel (boat, jet ski, kayak, etc.) went out in waters that reached the power lines, even going above 2-story homes and traffic lights to pull people off roofs and through windows. For anyone wanting suggestions on where donations can be made to groups on the ground that will have a direct impact, we will be posting links shortly!
Friends of our Lismore-based, Lab Tech Officer Lending a Hand Cleaning Out Homes
THANK YOU TO MY TEAM
Anyone that knows NE well, knows we are a family, and advocate that our strength comes from collaboration with our growers, brands, manufacturers – we are in this together, and together anything is possible …. And last week it certainly was put to the test!
I want to take this moment to thank my incredible team (and their families) who I am so proud to know as people. . .you’ve taken in families, searched for people missing, done countless loads of washing, made hundreds of meals to be boated into water-locked areas with no access to food or drinking water, made care packs, couriered peoples' only salvageable belongings to high ground, cleaned out mountains of rubbish, helped clean homes, were shoulders to cry on, organised essential services and bedding, etc. I know you think you are just doing what is needed, but it is who you are - you care and are willing to do everything you can to help. It has and will continue to make a difference. I know you are exhausted and want to say : Huge effort guys. You’re incredible. Thank you!
Now that NE's communication is reinstated, we are back on line and our factory is high and dry and operational now. All the staff who haven’t lost their homes can reach it now that the road blocks are lifted, which is providing a place of support and normalcy within a very devastating reality. Couriers are back and we are doing everything in our power to get through the back log of emails and reply to you.
Our thoughts are with all the towns south of us that are starting to experience the flooding now. If there is anything we can help with just let us know. Make sure you have fuel, water, food, and cash – we ran out in 2 days.
Our thanks and best wishes to you all. Keep safe!
NATIVE EXTRACTS Pty Ltd