Creed Foodservice answers Marcus Rashford call to donate surplus stock

A chat with the BBC turned into receiving a message from England international Marcus Rashford for Creed Foodservice as they donated thousands of pounds of stock to Fareshare.

Creed Managing Director Philip de Ternant hit the headlines last week after telling the BBC about the mounting food waste in the Country Range Group member’s depots and the story soon grabbed the attention of Rashford, who has been the public face of a campaign against child hunger during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Manchester United forward took to social media to get in touch with Creed and after passing on some details, a new agreement was born for short-dated stock to be redistributed to food banks.

“It started at the beginning of the week as a BBC reporter, Howard [Mustoe] got in touch with us via FWD, knowing we had quite a bit of stock because the schools were closed,” de Ternant said.

“The story came out the following day and it was trending as the number-three read article on the BBC News website. On Twitter or Facebook, Marcus Rashford said ‘have you contacted my guys at Fareshare? Here are the contacts’ and we followed through. They’ve been in today and cleared about £9-10k of stock that we’ve given to them.”

De Ternant has arranged for Fareshare to take another raft of stock next week as use-by dates move closer on products Creed ordered in for schools prior to the last-minute announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to shut them after only one day of term.

While there’s been no other contact with Rashford since the initial message, Creed sent out a special thank you to Rashford on social media following the collection of the stock and de Ternant says they’re happy to see the products go to good use.

“We normally deal with the homeless and local charities, but they are inundated [with products] and are quite restricted of what they will take, knowing what they can get rid of quite quickly,” de Ternant explained.

“With Fareshare, they’ve taken the majority. For me, it was about finding something quick that could be pushed back out on product that has limited life, which I knew caterers probably wouldn’t accept. However, we are still pushing through other stock to jobbers, staff and customers and selling at cost or just below cost as opposed to giving it away.

“To me, this [the first Fareshare collection] was the real short-dated product that we couldn’t do a lot with – and I’m pleased it has gone somewhere it will be used to help other people who need it.”

FWD Communications Director David Visick was proud to see one of its member wholesalers helping the community in such a way, but pointed out the situation leading up to businesses being left with so much surplus stock has left wholesalers across the UK with warehouses full of product.

“It’s great to see our members supporting their communities, even when facing the harshest of conditions themselves,” said Visick.

“Wholesalers were told to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, so they did; they were told to prepare for hospitality to be open over Christmas, so they did; and they were told to prepare for schools to re-open last week, so they did. That means they have a huge volume of surplus stock they can’t sell and wherever possible they’re giving it to people who desperately need it.

“This is the third time in 10 months wholesalers have had to pay for the government’s late notice of lockdowns. We estimate the loss across the FWD membership could be over £12m this time. For businesses whose hospitality and education customers are closed, that’s a crippling blow, especially as they’ve had no meaningful financial support from government. It’s a reflection on the spirit of the wholesale sector that they are reaching out to help others despite the lack of help they have received themselves.”
coronavirus Country Range Group covid-19 Creed Foodservice David Visick Foodservice FWD hospitality Philip de Ternant schools wholesaler