FDF: return to ‘business as usual’ seems an awful long way off for food and drink manufacturers supplying hospitality and foodservice

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Responding to the Prime Minister’s latest announcement on lockdown restrictions, Ian Wright, FDF chief executive, said: “It is disappointing but wholly expected that the Prime Minister’s roadmap shows no signs of taking account of any input from business.

“For a great many of the food and drink manufacturers supplying the hospitality and food service sectors, a return to ‘business as usual’ seems an awful long way off. As such, it is only correct that the Chancellor outlines significant extensions to the furlough and credit insurance schemes as part of his Budget announcement next week.

“The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. It will therefore be key to the country’s economic recovery, with a footprint in every region. Now is the time for government to provide additional support to ensure those businesses most at risk can play their part in putting the country back on its feet.”

The co-heads of retail at Colliers comment in reaction to the opening of retail on the 12 April at the earliest.

Dan Simms said: “I think it is a profoundly depressing, over cautious and unwelcome announcement for the retail and hospitality sector. We have a world leading vaccine programme that is now rapidly changing the situation, yet the Government seems to be unable to even attempt to balance health, societal and economic considerations and shows no real understanding of the scale of the emergency for the sector. The dates announced will be simply too late for many businesses that have been able to trade for only small periods over the last year and the Government support merely papers over a few cracks.”

David Fox said: “Whilst it is understandable that the Government remains cautious and reluctant to commit to re-opening the retail and hospitality sectors, without a continuation of support and clarity on business rates and the arrears moratorium, there will inevitably be further failures. It is incumbent for the Government to bridge the uncertainty of the immediate weeks, providing the time and hope that businesses need to prepare for a return to normal trading and benefit from the predicted consumer spending spree.”