Cold Chain Federation President Tim Moran has called today for Government to commit to supporting food supply chain businesses through their ‘most dangerous time’, when their food service customers reopen slowly and partially over the coming months.
The Cold Chain Federation represents the businesses across the UK that store and distribute chilled and frozen food in cold warehouses and temperature-controlled vehicles. Mr Moran, who is Managing Director UK of leading international cold chain business Lineage Logistics, made his call in a speech to the Federation’s Annual General Meeting which took place virtually today (21 May 2020).
Mr Moran said: “The period of slow and partial reopening of our food industry will be the most dangerous period for supply chain businesses. Businesses that restart furloughed operations, with significantly reduced volumes, will be at their most vulnerable. That is when Government support will be needed the most in the food supply chain.
“While the consumer-facing businesses in the food chain have had significant direct support from Government such as deferred business rates and cash grants, the businesses that supply them have not. It seems that the interconnected and interdependent nature of our food chain, and the crucial role of supply chain businesses within it, is still not understood well enough in parts of Government.”
Mr Moran also spoke about the UK cold chain’s response to the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 crisis. He said: “In our thousands, people across our industry are keeping the food chain going and making it possible for others to stay home and stay safe. We started the year with cold chain businesses bringing forward investment in new facilities, new fleets and in people. Covid-19 will inevitably slow some of this down but this crisis will pass and the fundamentals that propelled our industry before remain strong. The importance of a secure, resilient, and efficient supply chain is clearer than ever.”
Cold Chain Federation Chief Executive Shane Brennan added: “Alongside the immediate support we are providing for our members in the current crisis, the Cold Chain Federation continues its work on the long term challenges of sustainability and climate change that will shape our industry’s future. The cold chain has shown real dedication and creativity in working to meet these ever-present challenges and opportunities, and the Federation will help our industry to keep its crucial momentum on these issues.”