A Call For Chefs To Demand Government Support for The Supply Chain

Dean Silver, a Director of London-based catering butcher, Fenns of Piccadilly, has set up a LinkedIn Group called “Support The Supply Chain” which aims to draw government attention to what is happening in the businesses that supply restaurants and keep them afloat.

Dean is doing a fantastic job of garnering a fantastic level of  support from his peers in the sector in highlighting the hidden struggles being felt in the supply chain.

He told The Chefs’ Forum: “My main aim is to get all of us heard.  The end goal is for this government to realise that this sector is massive.  Hospitality and our businesses have been turned on and off like a tap throughout this pandemic and I plan to try and find out why we’ve been forgotten.

“Small businesses have received grants, as have large businesses, but it’s the factories and warehouses that have been left out.  There is no help for suppliers…but without us, there cannot be an end product.

 “In a few months’ time, I fear that if the help is still not there, some of us won’t be there when the hospitality industry and ‘normal tradereturns. There is a huge shortage of butchers as it is a sector lacking in icons, unlike the cheffing profession.”

“It is not glamorised or promoted in any way and there aren’t many young people coming into the industry – We need to change this and plan to work with the network of UK FE Colleges to showcase butchery and other professions within the supply chain.”

“It is vital that we hold on to the talent we have, and now we have left the EU, this is an even bigger worry. The work we’re doing now to highlight the plight of the supply chain will ensure that there are jobs in the sector for the next generation.”

One of the first industry icons to support Dean’s initiative was Lucianne Allen of National Catering Butcher of the Year, Aubrey Allen, she commented:

“I can only imagine that some suppliers will really struggle to survive. In our industry abattoirs are already asking for pro forma payments which if suppliers haven’t been paid and then need to restock is going to lead to a very turbulent time for everyone and a situation of shortages. As ever we would urge chefs to speak as soon as possible to suppliers and work with them on reopening to help use any surplus stock first.“

L-R – Jamie Walsh, John Pritchard and George Pritchard visiting their livestock

John Pritchard, Director of Dart Fresh in Exeter supplies meat, fish, game and veg to chefs all over the south west, he concluded

“We are actively encouraging our online retail customers to buy from us over supermarkets to support local producers and their families. In terms of wholesale, we continue to supply schools hospitals, care homes and takeaways with the finest fresh local produce and will be there for our chefs and restaurants once hospitality returns.  It is vital that the supply chain gets the support it needs to carry them through this difficult time.”

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