Wholesalers have had to adapt many times in the last 12 months to cope with lockdowns and different levels of restrictions.
It has been no different for Dundee wholesaler Les Turriff who at the height of the first lockdown the company was doing 1200 box deliveries a week, since then it has been a bit up and down and now the in the current lockdown they doing around 300 a week.
“We really didn’t expect to be in this situation almost a year on but here we are. So, we are glad we decided to keep on going and have gained quite a few loyal customers and we saw orders increase in the run up to Christmas,” explains Director Andrew Turriff. “We still have a lot of trade from the local small retailers and farm shops who have also continued to supply fresh produce since the first lockdown.”
“We are looking to expand our boxes to include more groceries and improve our home delivery website.”
Andrew said that January has always been quite a volatile month for supply coming from Europe so the bad weather in Spain a couple of weeks ago was not a huge surprise.
“In situations like this we send all our wholesale customers an email with photos of the weather situation and explain to them why there are increases in prices. Although our main revenue just now is veg boxes and retail we did the same thing and offered them choices along with a price list showing which products had increased in price as well as the country of origin. It was well received, we also explained that it was not due to Brexit or Covid, just the weather.
“That said we are seeing the disruption created by Brexit, produce is taking an extra day to get here, and you can’t really depend on deliveries being on time, so to limit the disruption we are buying from UK brokers to lessen the uncertainty at the moment. We are also promoting UK grown veg but there not much available at this time of year, just kale, cabbage, Scottish carrots and of course swede with Burns Day coming up.”