Food and DrinkNews

Government Must Support Food Supply Chain

EFRA Committee report identifies impact of COVID-19 on supply chain business and recommends Government support

UKHospitality has welcomed the publication of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report into COVID-19 and food supply and urged the Government to act positively on its recommendations.

The report identifies the difficulties being faced by the hospitality and supply chain businesses and recognises that these sectors will take time to recover. The report recommends the Government ensures that businesses thriving before the crisis be supported to ensure they remain economically viable. It also highlights the critical importance of hospitality to every section of the farming and food manufacturing industries.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls gave oral evidence and UKH provided written evidence.

Commenting on the report, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The report acknowledges the scale of the crisis that has hit hospitality and supply chain businesses. It also recognises that it is going to take considerable time for our sector to be operating back at pre-crisis levels, more than a year in some cases.

“It’s crucial that we have a comprehensive plan for supporting food and drink suppliers, and the wider hospitality sector. The future of the sector is still uncertain, and businesses will still fail, with jobs lost, even at this point. Failures, or even delays, in the supply chain could have a devastating effect for hospitality businesses. That is not just pubs, hotels and restaurants, it is also catering businesses who supply our schools and hospitals. A cohesive plan of action to secure the future of the supply chain, and therefore the whole sector, is a must.

“We hope the Government acts on the recommendations of the Committee. The need for foodservice and hospitality businesses to be back trading at pre-crisis levels is evident and outlined in the report. UKHospitality is happy to support in order to achieve this, but robust and decisive support from the Government will be needed.”