FWD’s Bielby praises Local Food Drops service

FWD Chief Executive James Bielby has paid homage to Foodservice Online for setting up a website to help foodservice wholesalers reach consumers.

Local Food Drops launched last week to provide consumers with an alternative method to get food and drink during the Covid-19 outbreak and is supported by a directory of foodservice wholesalers that are offering selling directly to the public.

FWD has supported the effort, which was instigated by Foodservice Online Founder Richard Fletcher, by adding the federation’s database of foodservice wholesalers to the website.

By simply visiting the Local Food Drops website, consumers can quickly pull up an array of delivery and click and collect options local to them by inputting their postcode and filtering down the sort of products they want to buy.

“Many of our members are offering to-the-door or click-and-collect services to the public, many of them built from scratch in the last two weeks – they’ve been creative and innovative in what have been extremely difficult circumstances for foodservice distributors,” Bielby said.

“Foodservice Online is one of FWD’s Service Provider members and they and their technology partner, iWeb, have been incredibly fleet-footed in setting up this platform on behalf of our sector. We’ve very grateful to them for bringing wholesale together like this and delighted to add our database of members’ delivery offers to the service.”

Bielby also mentioned the website when he appeared on BBC Radio Four’s You and Yours programme on Friday 3 April and explained the benefits of the service to a wider audience.

“Our members have been selling direct into the public via a platform called Local Food Drops, which puts the information of these food distributors online, so consumers can go on there and get home delivery or collect the item themselves,” said Bielby.

“These are large-format packs, they’re all over the country. They’re not in the volumes supermarkets want, so getting into retail is a great idea, but the opportunities there are really quite limited.”

BBC Radio Four coronavirus covid-19 delivery Foodservice Foodservice Online FWD James Bielby Local Food Drops Richard Fletcher wholesale