Coronavirus Bidfood, Smurfit Kappa food parcel scheme gathers pace

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bidfood is to deliver 1.5m food parcels to vulnerable people
Bidfood is to deliver 1.5m food parcels to vulnerable people

Related tags: coronavirus, Packaging & labelling

Coronavirus has moved foodservice wholesaler Bidfood to work with packaging company Smurfit Kappa to send food parcels containing products from brands including Nescafé, Heinz and Tilda to 1.5m vulnerable people.

The care packages have begun to arrive on consumers’ doorsteps and contain 20 essential items, including pasta, fresh/tinned fruit, milk and bread.

Smurfit is to provide Bidfood with the necessary packaging for the care parcels from its Yate corrugated plant, a feat which the supplier turned around in three days – from enquiry to dispatch into nine Bidfood depots.

Care parcels have already made it to some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and have received a positive response.

‘National crisis’

Richard Ranby, director of procurement and property at Bidfood, said: “During this national crisis, we’ve been delighted with the support that Smurfit Kappa have provided in turning around essential supply boxes so rapidly for the Government’s local supply scheme,  which has been crucial in our efforts to feed hundreds of thousands who are extremely vulnerable, and in isolation.

“We’ve all had to work closely together to move at pace to mobilise what has been the biggest effort of its kind since the Second World War.”

The outbreak of COVID-19 has moved several food businesses to collaborate with each other in a bid to weather the negative impact of the pandemic.

Collaboration and partnerships

Food and drink supply chain businesses have formed a united emergency working group​ to ensure the industry can continue to feed the nation, led by consultancy Scala. The collaborative efforts of the meat industry to help combat the spread of the virus have been praised by the Food Standards Agency.

Meanwhile, shortages in packaging supplies and personal protective equipment due to the coronavirus could spark compliance issues for food and drink manufacturers,​ according to food safety assurance specialist Lloyd’s Register.

Manufacturers are at risk of demand far outstripping the supply of packaging available to them.

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3 comments

Food boxes.

Posted by Yvonne Johnson,

I just want to thank everyone at Bidfoods for the boxes of groceries that we've had delivered. WE are so grateful to you all. Then today along with the foods we received a beautiful hand drawn picture from Lily Grace asking us to Stay Home and Keep Safe. She said that her Dad works at Bid Foods at Chepstow and I wish that I could thank her. her lovely picture is in my window and I will think of her every day....and EVERYONE who works at Bidfood. Thank you all. Take care and keep safe....kind regards, Yvonne and David Johnson

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Rotten fresh produced supplied in care packs

Posted by Paul Jowitt,

Over the period of the last 6 or 7 week that I have been receiving the Government care packages provided by Bidford foods ( I have now deregistered) I have been faced with having to throw away all or part of some of the fresh food items, examples, Carrots that are unfit to eat after a couple of days, this week I had to throw the entire bag away because they where all rotten, potatoes that have mould on and are so soft and rotten that your fingers go through them when trying to separate from the ones that are ok, the ones that are usable usually need fair amount cutting away before cooking them, Oranges that have mould on them, Onions that you need to cut half away be usable, doesn't help that carrots and potatoes are delivered in plastics bags where they have been stored in so when you receive them they have been allowed to sweat, need to dry what is capable of being used, apples that are bruised and soft.

I also think some of the other items supplied have been selected without much thought, I.e. : -
Tinned Balti Vegatable pie, tin's of Carrot an Corriander soup, these appeal to minority of people, an extra large tin of baked Been's (840 gram's twice the size of a large tin) for a single person.

Also each week there is a frozen white loaf of bread, and with it was supplied instruction that "this must be consumed in 48 hours" then later we get instructions that it "must be consumed within 5 days",

Although I have been greatful for the care packages delivered every week, and they have helped, I can help but feel like they where put together without a great deal of compassion almost with the attitude "anything will do" and we should be greatful for what we get.

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Removed from At risk list and Food delivery

Posted by David Williamson,

I have been getting food delivery box every week from Bidfood b ut all of a sudden this week the food delivery to me appears to of stopped.
I phoned bidfood and was told I wasnt on the list given to them by the council. I was advised to phone my GP to ask if I was at high risk so I did just that . My GP told me I was at a very high risk firstly due to my age being 75 also as I have severe Bronical Asthma Copd lung disease also on Medications for all of these plus take oral steriods. But according to My doctor I should be isolating and need help. I am totally confused as I phoned the council who told me to re register on Gov web site Council also helped by asking a charity to help me until such time as my registration went through.
I would like to know who and why I have been removed from Bidfood list and who actually removed me
David J Williamson
3 Stoney Rock Court
Leeds LS9 7HT
0113 414 5172

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