At New Covent Garden Market a wholesale market in the heart of London which supplies the hospitality trade, there is obviously less demand from the hospitality trade, but hospitals and care homes still need fresh produce. Schools will close on Friday for an indefinite period.
As the situation changes more people are visiting local independent supermarkets and shops who are are now sourcing more produce from the market. The market is also open to the public, at the moment from 12am to 6am, but they are considering opening at more convenient hours so the general public can buy fresh produce there.
"Sales are very split, where we are based logistically most of our trade is to the hospitality sector this had been decimated, pub, restaurants and clubs are not ordering and this situation is very bad for them," said Gary Marshall, Chairman of the Tenant's Association at the market.
"New Covent Garden is full of fresh produce, there are no shortages here, so our customers are getting fresh fruit, vegetables and salad everyday, which they are passing on to their customers and the slogan is Shop Local, support your local shop because they are full of local produce."
Gary says that although people are entrepreneurs and will diversify, "If one door closes another one will open. But it is very very serious, the people who we supply are not ordering and although the government have said they will support pub groups, restaurant groups etc. they haven't said that they would support the suppliers of those groups. So if we fast forward three or four months to when everything is open again, there might be no one to supply them."
"The market will be staying open, we are fundamental to the food supply to London, even on a lock down we will be open. The public can come in and drive around in their cars and buy their fresh produce, at the moment from 12am to 6am, but we are considering opening at more convenient hours so the general public can buy fresh produce there."
For more information:
Tel: +44 20 7627 8999