Unitas wholesalers rally round amid chaos

Innovation is the buzzword for wholesalers across the UK currently as they adapt to the Covid-19 outbreak – and that’s no different at Unitas.

The buying group has been celebrating the actions of its members as they adapt to the challenges and continue to find new ways to provide food and drink to consumers.

It comes as Unitas Managing Director Darren Goldney has called on the government to offer wholesale-specific support to help businesses that usually supply foodservice operators as they feel the strain.

Several of the group’s foodservice wholesalers are doing their bit, with Bournemouth-based Country Fare deciding to take the novel approach of not cutting out their regular customers to sell directly to the public. Instead, they’ve created fresh fruit and veg boxes to sold to their cafe and restaurant customer base to create a community store and keep cashflow fluid.

Isle of Man wholesaler, Agrimark, is prioritising delivering to nursing homes and hospitals by closing early some days, while island neighbours Robinson’s have devised a Home Care Box Scheme to support customers who can’t get to the stops. Others, including Wilds Premier Drinks, have turned to offering direct-to-consumer services.

The effort has continued in the retail sector, with United Wholesale (Scotland) using its digital channels to share important safety messages about social distancing and promoting the need for responsible retailing to deter customers from putting up prices.

The Scottish wholesaler has also donated handwash, cleaning products and toilet roll to local mosques and gurdwaras, and donated £1,000 to the Day Today store in Stenhousemuir to help with its scheme to distribute care bags to elderly people.

JW Filshill is also playing a big role in the Scottish community, with the wholesaler’s KeyStores receiving praise for its availability and customer service, while the management team has been pitching in to help with extra demand by processing stock and loading customers’ vehicles.


Agrimark Country Fare Darren Goldney JW Filshill Unitas United Wholesale