New Covid rules could put “intense pressure” on wholesalers

FWD Chief Executive James Bielby has reiterated his call for wholesalers to receive government support after new restrictions were placed on pubs and restaurants.

Under new measures introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stem the rise in coronavirus cases, pubs in England must close at 10pm and will be restricted to table-service only, while face masks will be compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers in restaurants.

And with hospitality businesses warning that these rules could tip them over the edge after making tentative steps following the national lockdown, Bielby says there’s a real risk of a knock-on effect filtering up the supply chain.

“Further restrictions on pubs and restaurants will lead to closures if they can’t break even and that will put intense pressure on the wholesalers who supply them, many of whom have barely recovered from the initial national lockdown,” said Bielby.

“It’s essential that the government offers those wholesalers direct support so they can ensure continuity of food supply to vital public sector and care home customers.

“The Treasury must now give wholesalers the same business rates relief it has given hospitality outlets and major supermarkets, and extend the furlough scheme for foodservice employers for as long as these restrictions are in place.”

coronavirus covid-19 Foodservice FWD hospitality James Bielby Wholesalers