NEWS

Care home and ‘meals on wheels’ suppliers stockpile food for no-deal Brexit

Two major food suppliers to care homes and elderly who rely on ‘meals on wheels’ are stockpiling food to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Apetito and Bidfood provide specialist food to care homes, elderly and disabled people living at home and hospitals, many of whom have complex needs.

Apetito provide ready-made meals to 450 care homes, 400 hospital and more than 100,000 people needing care at home.

As part of the firms’ Brexit contingency plans, the companies have said they are ensuring they have extra stock in place should Britain face supply chain problems after it leaves the EU on 29 March.

Paul Freeston, chief executive of Apetito UK, said: “Given the level of uncertainty, we are investing heavily in a contingency plan to protect our customers.

“We are proud to serve some of the most vulnerable in society and we are determined to do everything we can to maintain supply.

“Meanwhile, we believe it is essential the current political stalemate is resolved so the food and farming industry can get on with its job of feeding the nation.

“This in turn requires frictionless trade with the remaining EU members, who form a vital part of the UK supply chain.”

Jim Gouldie, supply chain and technical services director at Bidfood, said: “Bidfood has been shaping plans for some time to ensure that we are in as strong a position as possible to mitigate against potential impacts to our customers.

“We have looked closely at the products which are important to sectors that have a duty of care, for example education, healthcare and public services.

“Over the last few months we have been engaging directly with Governmental departments, EU and UK Customs, as well as consulting with UKHospitality and the Federation of Wholesale Distribution, as part of the extensive work we have been undertaking to prepare for different scenarios, including a no deal Brexit.”

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Tamara Birch