“We have suffered huge losses and need support”

Following the hospitality support measures announced by Rishi Sunak on Wednesday 8 July, Unitas Wholesale MD Darren Goldney and Harvest Fine Foods MD Richard Strongman have shared their disappointment at the continued lack of sector-specific support for the wholesale industry.

“We are delighted about the additional support given to the hospitality sector which will help get the industry back on its feet, but the wholesale food and drink sector has once again been overlooked,” said Strongman.

“While the retail and hospitality sectors have received rates relief, we’ve received nothing. This is a glaring anomaly. Wholesalers are a vital component of the £300bn per year hospitality industry and without us, that sector can’t function. We have suffered huge losses in revenue and from stock losses. We were all hoping for some of kind of cashflow support and are obviously disappointed that the Chancellor didn’t take this opportunity to help us out.”

Darren Goldney agrees: “As ever, the devil is in the detail but for wholesale, at first glance this looks like some nice welcome icing on the cake but unfortunately they forgot to bake the cake itself. Vouchers to encourage consumers out and about are a good idea although limited in value and the times they can be used. The VAT cut is welcome which should drive better consumer value and potentially margin in some of our foodservice environments which will be critical with lower sales but the same costs being a reality for a while.”

“The substance we needed in this announcement was for business rate relief to be given as it has for multiple retailers. We need grants, not loans, to be more forthcoming, and greater support on best before end extensions and the acceptance of DEFRA-endorsed guidelines by our customers including local authorities  Anything is welcome but I’d encourage all wholesalers to support the FWD in the second survey DEFRA have asked for to tell their story so we can continue this fight for what we really need. “

coronavirus Darren Goldney Foodservice Government Harvest Fine Foods hospitality Richard Strongman Unitas Wholesale wholesale