Articles from the COVID-19 Industry Bulletin

The bulletin is a regular update from our daily discussions with government organisations and trade bodies. It’s our way of sharing all that we learn about the response to coronavirus (COVID-19). The articles below are taken from the bulletin.

The articles in the COVID-19 Industry Bulletin are aligned with one of three key areas: Products, Logistics or People and Workplace. You can find the articles aligned to each via the links below.

PRODUCTS

IGD’s involvement in the supply of food and essentials including to vulnerable groups

We were asked to support the Government’s focus on a group of clinically vulnerable people who are being advised not to leave home at all for the next 12 weeks. This work is being led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and two foodservice companies. Brakes and Bidfood are now delivering food parcels to this group of people who need to be shielded from coronavirus.

We’ve also brought together many of your companies to develop a coordinated response to the challenge being faced by food banks. This is both to ensure that they can continue to serve the needs of their vulnerable customers, but also to alleviate pressure on retailers. If you would like to get involved in this workstream, please contact [email protected]

Supply of food and essentials

Our absolute priority is making sure we support industry to meet the demand for food and essentials, particularly for vulnerable groups. However, we understand the current challenges for the foodservice sector and the need for food supplies to be diverted or repurposed for retail and other routes. We are supporting this by communicating how to divert surplus products to food banks and redistribution charities

Immediate redistribution of surplus food and essentials can be addressed to your existing redistribution partner.

WRAP are also working with Defra, and through their Courtauld 2025 Redistribution network to provide guidance to food businesses, and facilitating the identification of those who could receive surplus. A link to WRAPs food surplus network database can be found here and detailed guidance on charitable and commercial redistribution can be found here. WRAP have also set up a dedicated email address for enquiries around food surplus: [email protected].

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) is leading the work of the Food and Drink trade association roundtable (the 60 trade associations in the sector) on opportunities for businesses to re-purpose short shelf-life products that no longer have a route to market following the shutdown of the hospitality and foodservice sector. The group is collectively looking at ways businesses can unwind inventory to retailers, the public, and the public sector such as NHS. You can find more information here.

PEOPLE AND WORKPLACE

IGD’s involvement in issues relating to people working in the food and consumer goods industry

Companies are managing higher than normal levels of absence as a result of Coronavirus. Through our discussions with industry colleagues, including our HR Leaders Forum, and a number of trade associations we have been made aware of a number of platforms that aim to match labour demand with capacity, including Feed the Nation and SWAP.

The government is also coordinating some work on labour matching. They are using the find a job website to increase the prominence of seasonal work, and the Cabinet Office is developing a workforce exchange on gov.uk that will cover all key worker occupations.

We are also involved in discussions with Defra addressing barriers to employment and redeployment.

LOGISTICS

IGD’s involvement in issues relating to the transportation and storage of food and consumer goods products

We are engaging with a wide range of industry stakeholders to understand any challenges with logistics such as vehicle shortages. This process has helped us to identify the resources referenced below which you may find helpful:

Drivers and Warehouse Teams

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has been working with their members, the Road Haulage Association and Department for Transport to create a database of businesses and logistics companies that could provide services either nationally or in a local area. Members can find this fully open resource at https://ciltuk.org.uk/covidresponse. There is a simple form to upload available resources that you are willing to share with others, as well as a filter and search facility to find what you are looking for.

Warehouse Space

There are a number of commercial warehouse search sites in the market. Please note that these are commercial sites which are not endorsed by IGD. We understand the most advanced of these is www.onevastwarehouse.com.  The platform is open to all – those with excess space available (now or in the future) can list, those with a shortfall can search by location/type/service required and agree terms with the provider through the platform.

The team from oneVAST presented at our 2019 IGD supply chain summit; the site already has nearly 600 warehouse locations across the country with around 400,000 pallet spaces available run by a range of logistics service providers and retailers.

FAQs

For our list of FAQs and links to government advice go to igd.com/covid-19

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