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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