Coronavirus pandemic inspires more food industry initiatives

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

FareShare redistributes food to 11,000 charities and community groups nationwide
FareShare redistributes food to 11,000 charities and community groups nationwide

Related tags coronavirus Supply chain

The coronavirus pandemic continues to inspire food firms to maintain and launch aid initiatives to support the vulnerable and their peers.

G's and FareShare

Salad and vegetable producer G’s announced on 6 August it had diverted more than 450 tonnes of surplus veg to UK food charity FareShare, enough for more than one million meals for vulnerable people.

Following a four-year partnership with FareShare five G’s UK sites were regularly diverting surplus fresh food – including onions, mushrooms, beetroot, lettuce and radishes - to the most hard-pressed communities, FareShare said.

FareShare redistributes surplus and donated food to 11,000 charities and community groups nationwide. The COVID-19 crisis had seen demand for its service soar, it said. However thanks to support from suppliers such as G’s, the charity had tripled the amount of food supplied to vulnerable and low-income people since the lockdown was first introduced, representing three million meals each week.

Young's Seafood

At the same time, Young’s Seafood reported at the end of July that it had donated more than 3,250 meals to FareShare.

The latest donation will help support 13 school breakfast and after school clubs, 15 hostels and supported housing for the homeless and 28 lunch clubs for vulnerable adults and older people, said the seafood processor.

Young's Seafood said the donation marked the beginning of a long-term, national partnership between it and FareShare.


Hovis Ireland is partnering with the Simon Community, one of Northern Ireland’s leading homeless charities to donate 1,730 Hovis Soft White loaves over the next three months to vulnerable individuals.

Trevor McCrum, commercial director, Hovis Ireland said: “We are delighted to be able to donate our Hovis loaves to the Simon Community during the current Covid 19 pandemic. We acknowledge the outstanding work that the Simon Community does with the homeless across all of Northern Ireland and how their efforts are even more important during these difficult times.”


Nestlé Professional has announced £2m worth of products is set to be given away to support independent customers reopening their businesses following lockdown.

The donation is part of Nestlé Professional’s ongoing Always Open for You campaign, which has supported customers and communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Nestlé Professional has donated an estimated £4m-worth of products to frontline workers, vulnerable people and foodbanks as part of Nestlé’s wider support. The business also introduced several schemes aimed at easing the impact of COVID-19 on customer’s businesses, including extended credit terms, machine rental freezes, webinars and insight reports.

Robinsons Brewery

Robinsons Brewery has launched a keg IPA named Hopnik Citra to their tenanted and managed estate. For every pint bought, 10p goes towards the NHS.

Rude Health

Rude Health is supporting the reopening of restaurants, bars and coffee shops by sending out over 1,000 free ‘Lattes after Lockdown’ boxes, filled with its dairy-alternative drinks, to new and existing out-of-home customers.

The boxes, which contain 12 natural and organic Rude Health Dairy-free Drinks, including its new Barista range and best-selling Almond Drink, aim to encourage out-of-home businesses to bounce back in style.

Sato labels

Sato, a global supplier of auto-ID and labelling solutions, has developed a range of personalised social distancing labels to enable food manufacturers to implement safe practices in factory and communal areas.

Sato is also offering its customers a selection of disinfectant wipes as part of its bid to facilitate a return to day-to-day business. 

Delfin Health, DocHQ

Meanwhile, Delfin Health and DocHQ have created an AI employee health data management tool to help firms manage the health and safety of employees returning to work.


Klarity offers real-time clinical understanding of the health of workers including food inspectors, food handlers, packers, managers, cleaners, maintenance contractors and delivery staff.

The solution offers health risk assessments using explainable AI to determine the severity of potential COVID-19 infection for each employee tested. It also offers accurate and ongoing testing to assess their COVID-19 status, and continuous surveillance and symptom checking to inform and reassure employees.

The testing methods, which include group and randomised testing, allow employers to reduce the amount of testing required. It can also minimise the risk of an outbreak by identifying asymptomatic cases, which are thought to play a significant role in the transmission of the disease.

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