“Rishi and Boris, our futures lie on your shoulders” – Gittins

Tom Gittins launched a heartfelt plea to appeal to the government powers to provide financial support to wholesalers… before it’s too late.

The Confex Managing Director painted a dramatic future that could only be months away if hundreds of foodservice wholesalers go to the wall due to a lack of aid provided to the sector.

Gittins in one of dozens of voices raising the glaring issue facing the wholesale industry as hospitality and schools remain closed, and no government aid arrives in the shape of business rates relief to help them keep their doors open.

“Imagine a world where going out is a special treat reserved for birthdays and Christmas due to it having become unaffordable,” said Gittins.

“Imagine a world where the cost of putting a loved on in a nursing home was the cost equivalent of a lifetime’s worth of work. Imagine a world where hospitals become self catering and school meals cease to exist.

“This world could only be months away if Wholesalers do not gain the sector specific support they need in order to avoid going out of business by Easter.

“Wholesale has been ignored by the government during Covid with Rishi Sunak ignoring the fact that the UK Food Supply chain is made up of a myriad of local wholesalers who ‘plug the gaps’ to ensure all our vital services are fed and watered.”

The squeeze on wholesalers has increased even further this week as government changed Department for Education guidance on free school meal deliveries – triggering an embittered battle cry by FWD Chief Executive James Bielby in response.

Despite the constant calls to arms and repeated pledges by government that businesses and employees are being supported through the Covid-19 crisis, wholesalers in England remain empty handed as grants go elsewhere. But as Gittins points out, a little could go a long way for wholesalers.

“The government can fix this problem and avoid long-term damage in the event of losing hundreds of family run wholesale businesses employing thousands of jobs across the UK,” the Confex head honcho added.
“Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson, give wholesalers the lifeline of business rates relief, it will cost a fraction of that already spent on hospitality and the national supermarkets. Help us with clearing our stock, which is now going to waste due to our customers having been shut down.
“I realise every industry needs money but wholesale is different, it is integral to feeding the nation and so this must be a priority today. Rishi and Boris, our future lies squarely on your shoulders.”
Boris Johnson Confex coronavirus covid-19 Foodservice hospitality James Bielby Rishi Sunak schools Tom Gittins wholesaler