Brakes and Bidfood heroes recognised in New Years Honours

A quartet of employees from Bidfood and Brakes have been awarded MBEs for their commitment to feeding the vulnerable during the Covid-19 crisis.

Brakes’ Supply Chain and Operations Director Alex Mayfield and counterpart Lead Solution Designer Ricky Sercombe, as well as Bidfood duo Supply Chain and Technical Services Director Jim Gouldie and Managing Director – Wholesale, Steve Clarke, were named on the Queen’s New Years Honours List.

The four were picked out for their commitment for those in need as Covid first hit the UK and for their support for the hospitality sector, as part of the joint effort to deliver five million food packages to the nation’s most clinically vulnerable people.

In partnership, the foodservice wholesale giants worked with government to launch the service and managed to get the first packages delivered within only nine days of the first national lockdown being announced.

While each and every member of the Bidfood and Brakes teams involved in the effort played a pivotal role, Mayfield, Sercombe, Gouldie and Clarke were specially selected for their roles in helping the process become a reality and making it work efficiently.

“The MBEs given to Alex and Ricky reflect the resilience, innovation and resourcefulness of our business in developing and launching a service to support the clinically vulnerable at a time when many of those most in need were unable to access food and essential supplies,” said Brakes CEO Hugo Mahoney.

“The well-deserved honours are a fantastic recognition of the boundless energy and resourcefulness they displayed in leading their teams at a very challenging time.

“I’m very proud of how they drew the business together to deliver such a valuable service so quickly, at a time when many supermarkets were displaying empty shelves and were not able to provide delivery slots.”

Bidfood CEO Andrew Selley was equally as proud of the honours and paid homage to the role the scheme had on people during the first peak.

“Many people went the extra mile during 2020 and Jim and Steve were at the forefront of everything that epitomises the very best in helping others across a period of great adversity,” said Selley.

“During that first lockdown, there was worry, fear, and concern around the continuity of food supply across our customers such as hospitals, schools and local councils who were trying to meet the needs of their customers and protect the vulnerable.

“There were complexities to be considered – not just residents in care, or patients in hospitals, but ensuring the essential frontline staff working across these sites could be fed whilst working and had access to food supplies when they finished their shifts. All in addition to setting up the shield pack initiative in just seven days to feed clinically vulnerable people who had to self-isolate at home.

“Jim and Steve worked tirelessly to ensure continuity of supplies and service to customers whilst dealing with the unknown. Whether addressing availability challenges as manufacturers struggled to maintain production levels, (with social distancing or closed facilities), delayed food imports, contigency planning for Brexit, or juggling excess stocks when much of the hospitality sector had to close its doors, and mitigating the food waste that could have resulted.”

Alex Mayfield Andrew Selley Bidfood Brakes coronavirus covid-19 Foodservice Hugo Mahoney Jim Gouldie Ricky Sercombe Steve Clarke wholesale