Bidfood has shed light on the “devastating impact” the pandemic has had on both the hospitality sector and the food wholesalers that support them, with the company set to cut jobs amid the ongoing crisis.
The group is one of the largest of its kind in the UK.
It works behind the scenes to supply about 13,000 products to more than 45,000 caterers and foodservice businesses from 24 sites across the country.
Bidfood has navigated its way through the pandemic but not without coming up against a host of challenges.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on both the hospitality sector and the food wholesalers that support them,” a spokesperson told Insider.
“We’ve spent considerable time assessing the impact the pandemic will have on the size of our business over the next six months and have had to make the difficult decision to undertake a number of structural and operational changes.
“We have done this to not only secure the future of the business, but also to remain agile and adapt to customers’ changing needs during these uncertain times.
“It is as part of this restructure that, with great sadness, we had to take the very difficult decision to close a small number of sites that have been most affected and integrate some of these operations into other facilities.”
They added that such a move is “crucial in ensuring we can continue to support our customers through these challenging times”.
Bidfood has also worked with elected employee representatives and trade unions to identify relocation opportunities and other ways of avoiding or reducing the effect of the closures.
“Through these alternative solutions, we’ve managed to preserve a large number of jobs which could have otherwise been at risk, which we believe is a really positive result.”
The company said it was “very concerned about the recent restrictions in Scotland, which will be devastating for many businesses that were just getting back on their feet after the last lockdown”.
“The hospitality sector, and those industries that support it, are a crucial part of the Scottish and wider UK economy, and this is really disappointing news to hear after all the hard work that the industry has undertaken to make hospitality venues Covid-19 secure.
“Government support is urgently needed as a lifeline for hospitality businesses who have been decimated by the pandemic, through no fault of their own, as well as for wholesalers that supply them.
“The wholesale sector has been very much overlooked to-date, despite being such critical link in the food supply chain, supplying both the hospitality sector and vital public services fighting the virus on the frontline.”