On behalf of food and drink wholesalers throughout the UK, the Federation of Wholesale Distributors and Scottish Wholesale Association have asked foodservice and licensed operators to use government funding to settle outstanding invoices.
In an open letter to 350,000 restaurants, cafés, pubs, hotels and leisure facilities, the FWD and SWA pointed out that although some wholesalers are facing huge reductions in turnover since the closure of the hospitality sector, they are maintaining distribution networks to hospitals, care homes, critical workplaces and local stores, as well as takeaways and home delivery customers.
The organisations ask that catering businesses help by paying for stock they purchased before the lockdown.
The FWD and SWA wrote: “The majority of your businesses are temporarily closed but when the time comes to re-open we will be there, along with our supplier partners, to work alongside you and help reignite our economy.”
Those businesses told by government to close their doors are receiving up to £25,000 in support from local authorities via the retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund, with payments beginning to be made this week. “We’re asking you to allocate some of that assistance you receive to paying your bills for the stock we’ve already delivered to you,” said the trade bodies on behalf of their members.
“The majority of our businesses are regional and independent, and whatever size they are, all have relationships with you which go far beyond delivery. If wholesalers can’t purchase new stock, you will lose more than that relationship – you will lose the flexibility, the knowledge of your businesses, and the diversity in your supply options that wholesalers offer.
“Paying outstanding invoices for goods you have already received will allow us to pay our suppliers and keep the wheels of this industry turning.”