This last week has seen a continued massive effort from the food industry to replenish stocks of food in supermarkets following panic-buying in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK. We bring you the first of our round-ups of the most positive news stories about the food industry from the last week.
For the latest coronavirus-related food industry news, check out our news page, which is updated daily.
Actors, Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis, have launched the #FeedNHS, in an effort to support the National Health Service. The scheme aims to have restaurant meals delivered to NHS staff who are on the coronavirus frontline. Through not-for-profit initiatives like this, the UK food industry is making a generous contribution to feeding and supporting NHS staff with hot meals. #FeedtheNHS aims to deliver 5,600 hot meals per day to start with in 5 major hospitals in London. Read more here (The Telegraph)
Pick For Britain
Over the next few months, certain crops will be ready for picking on British farms and from the end of April, 29,000 crop pickers will be needed. As UK borders are closed, farmers, who usually rely on overseas workers, will be asking local people to step in. The charity, Concordia, which usually helps young people gain experiences abroad, has already recruited 14,000 people to help with the picking as part of its Feed the Nation scheme. These include lettuce and asparagus from mid-April, strawberries from the end of April and apple, pears, cucumbers and cauliflowers later in the year. 70% of these people have never worked on a farm before. Read more here (BBC News)
Some Supermarkets Lift Restrictions
Certain supermarkets are now lifting the restrictions on the number of individual items shoppers can buy. Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Waitrose had put in place these restrictions following stockpiling in early to mid-March. In some cases, the limits are being scrapped altogether and in others, limits are being upped, giving people far more freedom to buy what they need. Read more here (BBC News)
Priority Given to Vulnerable People
Access by supermarkets to government lists of vulnerable people is helping them prioritise online deliveries for those most in need. Other measures supermarkets have been using during the pandemic to help the elderly and vulnerable obtain the food and other household items they need, include dedicated in-store shopping hours. Read more here (The Independent)
Preventing Food Waste
And finally, three food industry federations have launched a joint initiative to prevent food waste. The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) and Provision Trade Federation (PTF) have created a platform which collates data on perishable and end-of-shelf-life stock. Overstocks and stock under threat can be listed on here by wholesalers and surplus stock will be redistributed. Read more here (FoodBev Media Ltd)
For a round-up of the current food industry news, take a look at our news page, which is updated daily to keep you informed.