26/08/2020

Your opinion: Tell us what’s important to you now and in the future.

The pandemic has created huge uncertainty for much of Britain’s food industry. Culturally, socially and economically the landscape has changed forever. For most producers, farmers and hospitality, the urgent aim is to survive. And if they do, what does the future look like? Lockdown has also offered opportunities and many have embraced change and shown creative innovation.

Now. is the time to think about the future. Is this the moment to build something better?

Here are some topics we think are interesting…

Insufficient capacity in domestic food production, just-in-time supply chains and Brexit-related labour market challenges have weakened the UK’s food system. Building redundancy and diversity in the food system is essential for resilience in the COVID-19 recovery.

The UK imports almost half of its food and 84% of it is fresh fruit can this be changed?

Can hyperlocal and alternative food projects close the gaps in the unravelling globalised food system. During Covid over 500 British veg box providers, with waiting lists more than doubled their usual sales.

Can local initiatives such as box schemes and online farmers’ markets diversify both what we eat and how we get it and will that continue?

For most restaurants in major city centres that have to pay their enormous rents and wage bills with high foot traffic from tourists and office workers, it is going to be very tough. With no plans yet to reopen international travel at scale, and without any certainty on when offices will reopen and how many workers will be allowed back in under less-intense lockdowns? These restaurants should assume these customers won’t return to city centres in the same numbers until a vaccine is available.

Smaller, independent restaurants in more residential neighbourhoods outside high-rent city centres may be able to tough it out for long enough to get to the other side of corona time. But they’ll only be able to do this by constantly thinking a few steps ahead to understand what to sell, who to sell it to.

How will all this change the restaurant & hospitality landscape as coronavirus looks like it will be with us for a while, but people will still have to eat?

We would love to hear your thoughts. Please contact us as we would love to know what you think a post-covid future may be like and how the UK’s food system will hold up.

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