While are hearing about people hoarding, panic buying and other anti-social behaviour it is easy to think the worst of our society, but there are always people who are willing to go that extra mile to help others and this very true in the fresh produce industry.
Fresh Produce Network was set up last year by Angie Stuart with the aim of developing a new fresh produce network with the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce across the region for fresh produce and associated businesses. Creating an interactive platform to link fresh produce businesses with the local and national supply chain. To supporting the growth and development of the industry, connecting, informing, promoting and lobbying at the highest level.
The FPN has come into its own this week, driven by the current situation caused by the coronavirus. Due to a shortage in supply or by supplies being diverted care homes around Lincolnshire have not been getting food delivered and food banks are also suffering.
“FPN is supported by a group of major fruit and vegetable importers and logistics companies in the Spalding area including Worldwide Fruit, Karsten UK, Greencell, Davis Worldwide, Fesa UK, Fresca, Fowler Welch, Freshlinc. We’ve formed an email group to keep in touch and coordinate fresh produce donations and deliveries to local care homes, hospitals and food banks so that they will have enough fresh produce to keep these places running.”
“I am currently making calls to care homes etc to see who is in need of donations of fresh produce, also appealing to any food banks or charities in need of fresh produce to get in touch.
“The fresh produce sector is very altruist anyway, but this group of fresh produce businesses in Spalding are particularly proactive, they’re just amazing!
They are also going a step further to help local businesses such as small cafes and bistros who maybe struggling to survive the current crisis by providing temporary employment in their packhouses.
"We are working together with the Lincs Chamber of Commerce to get the word out to smaller members. Some of our FPN members have already taken on students where schools and colleges have shut down and young people have time on their hands.
"This is a great example of fresh produce businesses pulling together to help the local community in a time of crisis. It will ensure that if there are shortages in packhouses due to Covid 19, those able to work can fill the gap on a temporary basis. If more groups do this across the country we can make a big difference – we’re working with local councils and the chamber to bring the whole thing together. It’s about employment, feeding people and caring! At FPN its what we do best and I’m privileged to work with such an amazing group of people!"
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