Mevalco Joint CEO Justin Slawson: “Adapt and survive”

As Covid-19 impacts the marketplace – it’s all about adaptability. The latest news following on from school and university closures is the lockdown as consumers take little heed of government warnings and continue to panic buy in the multiple supermarkets.

In the wholesale sector, we’re seeing an extraordinary juxtaposition and one that’s leading to a raft of what would have previously been unthinkable partnerships and collaboration.

For those wholesalers specialising in mainstream grocery mults and independent convenience and retail, they can’t get enough stock, drivers and staff to get product on shelves and out to retailers fast enough. For wholesalers in the fine-dining sectors of hospitality, for pubs and certain public sector and private contracts arena (e.g. education), some of their figures have gone into free fall.

What is emerging is a host of collaborative partnerships. Bidfood’s announcement at the weekend that it’s going into home delivery was swiftly followed by JJ Foodservice. We may see food and drink products, drivers and vans being shared across grocery multiples and wholesalers that are dominant in different market sectors. It’s win-win to all parties – and the country at large – for wholesalers to pull together, pool resources and keep shelves stocked.

Right now, it’s all about flexibility and adaptability and that is what we, here at Mevalco, are doing. Our business has inherently been based on fine dining and restaurants. And while many of our clients are adapting to home deliveries, we’re also looking for ninja action in opening our stock up to private clients who wish to register and enjoy home delivery or click and collect from depot.

Alongside the challenges that Covid-19 has presented us with, we’re focused on retaining talent and staff within the business who are obviously concerned by the current crisis and we want to ensure they’re healthy and remain in our business. It’s probable that many aspects of business will be rethought over the coming months and for us, we have the added complexity of importing goods from Spain. It’s of vital importance for us to maintain products and ensure the supply chain is kept open and we can ship products across the borders.

Clearly, it is hard to speculate where the wholesale sector will be in a week, a month, six months or a year’s time but what is for sure is that adaptability is key to survival. There are opportunities to do good business – and that doesn’t mean predatory pricing – and work together to ensure there’s enough food for everyone and drive collaborations to the benefit of our nation.

coronavirus covid-19 Foodservice import Mevalco retail wholesaler