Defra establishes new working group to ensure food chain resilience

James Walton
Chief Economist

Date : 24 March 2020

Food and grocery businesses across the supply chain are working closely with government to maintain availability of food and essentials, despite the challenges raised by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The government has already relaxed certain aspects of competition law in order to facilitate co-operation between retailers. Laws on vehicle operation and environmental protection have also been adjusted.

Food and grocery retailers have now been asked to supply senior leaders each, with expertise in supply chain and operations, to support a new government working group.

The group, which combines businesses and officials, will be led by Chris Tyas, formerly Senior VP of Global Supply Chain at Nestle. Beginning on Tuesday 24th March, it will:

  • Triage immediate issues and focus the resources of the whole industry on their resolution
  • Plan ahead, with a horizon of the next few months, in order to anticipate pinch points

Organisations including BRC, FDF, IGD and NFU will support the new working group, using inputs from members to guide activities.