ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

The Food and Drink Sector Council (FDSC) has launched a COVID-19 Recovery Plan for the industry, after the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the strength and fragility of the food chain.

A report from the FDSC stated that the COVID-19 lockdown saw the UK food system face its biggest challenge since 1945—“to keep the nation fed.”

It highlighted a number of areas of significant economic impact in varying ways. Panic buying sparked by the pandemic prompted some food manufacturers to boost production by up to 50%. Many retailers, farmers and other producers also increased sales—while the hospitality industry saw “sales evaporate” as a result of social distancing rules and regulations.

Terry Jones, industry co-chair of the FDSC and Director General of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) spoke on the matter, saying how the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the strength of the UK food chain, and how well industry and government can work together—but that COVID-19 also laid bare the fragility of our food system:

“This report clearly outlines what needs to be done to ensure the entire sector can restart successfully and build a greener, healthier system for all.”

Overall, the report builds on the positive response to changing consumer demands during this extremely challenging time, commending the ways in which businesses and people came together to ensure food supplies were maintained, shelves stacked, and the most vulnerable people protected.

However, its key message is to look at the lessons we can learn from the coronavirus outbreak to make the food system more resilient in the future.

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