'Hero' award for Delifresh highlights plight of the 'invisible supply chain'

An FPJ award presented to Delifresh and Bradford Council has prompted a social media reaction that reveal heartbreaking impact of the pandemic on the fresh produce supply chain.

During the first Covid-19 lockdown, Bradford Council was faced with the critical task of supplying essential food supplies to vulnerable and housebound people. Despite carrying furloughed staff, facing increased Covid-19 regulation and reduced national food supplies, Delifresh rose to the challenge and was able to set up a direct food supply system in under seven days. Food parcels were delivered to the most needy just 24 hours after being ordered by front line social workers and crisis teams.

Delifresh also took part of the Feed the Frontline initiative and delivered over a thousand bags of free fruit and vegetables over eight weeks.

"I do believe that those within the supply chain that provide the essential daily services to the hospitality industry have been largely forgotten in this whole debate regarding the impact of the next lockdown" wrote Noel Kershaw, Managing Director of Delifresh, on LinkedIn.

"Our team has worked tirelessly since March just trying to continually pivot to remain in business - like so many of our peers in the industry. We didn’t qualify for bounce back loans, we didn’t get relief for rent, we didn’t get a benefit from suspended VAT payments - we didn’t get the direct benefit of the eat out to help out as the costs to serve a customer base that exploded temporarily just negated any prospect of profitability," he continued.

"This isn’t a moan - this is just someone asking for the government to take into account the impact on the amazing supply chain that lies behind the headlines and understand what impact their actions are having," he concluded.