7 Apr 2021
Government must act urgently to support businesses supplying pubs and restaurants
The Government must recognise the impact of hospitality's closure on the sector's suppliers, and act urgently to support the supply chain. Noting the greater risks for small businesses, a new report from the House of Commons EFRA Committee calls on Ministers to provide additional funding to food and drink wholesalers and suppliers, who have not received the level of financial support offered to the pubs, bars and cafes that rely on them.
Evidence provided by FPC is referred to directly in the EFRA Committee’s report and also in its public statement. Our thanks to members who provided feedback on the impacts on their businesses which we used as part of our lobbying of MPs.
The report, which follows the publication of the Committee's July 2020 Covid-19 and Food Supply report, analyses the six months from August 2020, in which the hospitality sector was subject to two national lockdowns and an array of local restrictions. Addressing both the food supply chain and food insecurity, the report also highlight the almost 1 in 10 households who have, during the two most recent national lockdowns, experienced food poverty, and again urges the Government to appoint a new Minster for Food Security and consult on a national 'right to food' in England.
The report can be found here.
The Committee recommends:
Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said: "When pubs, bars and restaurants closed, their suppliers’ market evaporated overnight. They have worked admirably to pivot to new customers, but many businesses, particularly small ones, are struggling to survive. We are all looking forward to hospitality beginning to re-open on Monday, but the reality is that without support for their suppliers, many venues may struggle.
"The Government must act now to provide additional help for suppliers. If its supply chain collapses the money the hospitality sector has received to get them through lockdown will have been wasted.
"There must also be recognition of the tremendous momentum gathered during the crisis to keep the most vulnerable in our society fed. This must be sustained. For the second time in a year, our Committee urge the Government to appoint a new Minister to address food security in the UK."