Industry boosts support for vulnerable and NHS workers

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Princes Group UK has added its weight to coronavirus efforts supporting the vulnerable and NHS
Princes Group UK has added its weight to coronavirus efforts supporting the vulnerable and NHS

Related tags coronavirus

2 Sisters Food Group, Arla Foods, Princes Group and Alpro are among the latest food processors strengthening coronavirus support efforts to aid the vulnerable, NHS and businesses.

2 Sisters Food Group is supporting hundreds of local initiatives, with thousands of Fox’s Biscuits sent to the NHS. Businesses from across its wider group have ensured that NHS Trusts up and down the country, as well as food banks and other charitable groups, have been supplied with food during the crisis.

Poultry, ready meals and pies are being sent those in need. Its poultry products have also been donated to celebrity chef Tom Kerridge to support his ‘Meals from Marlow’ initiative, which is creating free meals for all the frontline workers at local NHS hospitals in the Buckinghamshire area. 

The company’s ​Holland’s pies factory is also helping to deliver food parcels across north-east Manchester, providing 30 food parcels every week. 

Ronald Kers, 2 Sisters Food Group CEO, said: “We’re proud to play a big role in helping to feed the nation during this time of crisis. But as a large food business making different products at many locations across the UK, we are also delighted to be able to put a smile on people’s faces during such difficult times.” 


Arla Foods UK, the UK’s largest farmer-owned dairy co-operative, has been redirecting butter, cheese, yogurt and milk that was destined for Britain’s cafés and restaurants to three food charities: FareShare, Food4Heroes, and Magic Breakfast. 

The parent company to brands such as Anchor, Cravendale and Lurpak, Arla has already committed more than 35% of the milk produced at its site in Settle, North Yorkshire, to the Government’s care packages for those needing to be shielded. 

Jonathan Dixon, vice president of foodservice for Arla Foods UK, said: “To ensure Arla milk isn’t wasted, where there are temporarily less foodservice outlets to sell dairy products into, we are redistributing them to where they are needed most: to those being shielded, those on the front line at our hospitals, and the children who are in need of nutritious products to help stay healthy at this time.”

Princes Group has announced a COVID-19 charitable response programme, which has already distributed more than half a million products to communities across the UK, Italy and Mauritius.

A rolling partnership with food bank charities in the UK and Italy means that products from canned fish and soups to pasta and sauces has been shared with those in need. 

More than 265,000 cans or boxes – 100 tonnes of products – has already been distributed to partners, including FareShare in the UK. 


The company has also supplied the NHS with 290,000 bottles of water for distribution to the five new Nightingale hospitals in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff.

Cameron Mackintosh, managing director at Princes, said: “The COVID-19 virus has seen an unparalleled call on our industry to step up and meet demand from consumers who need both the reassurance and nutrition of a steady supply of food and drink.” 

Meanwhile, alternative milk supplier Alpro has offered help to independent coffee shops across the UK with a £125,000 support package and an additional £200,000 of financial aid to follow this month. 

It is introducing a free stock initiative to help businesses get back up and running when they reopen, as well as engaging in a social media campaign with baristas to keep the coffee conversation going during lockdown. 

More than 120 Scottish food and drink businesses, including brewers, dairies, seafood, and condiments have joined the​ directory. 

Created by industry body Scotland Food & Drink, the​ platform aims to connect consumers directly with food and drink businesses, including many of those who have had to refocus offerings due to the impact of coronavirus restrictions. 


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