Care sector gears up for ‘no deal’ Brexit food shortages

No-deal Brexit food shortages need radio NACC care catering homes
NACC chair Neel Radia: Wants extra money for the care sector
05/03/2019 - 11:16
Food shortages and price rises as a result of a ‘no deal’ Brexit will have a direct impact on the health of care home residents, the chair of the National Association of Care Catering has claimed.

Neel Radia told BBC 4’s Today programme: “This is a real huge concern for the care sector.

“Our fear is that if the money doesn't come in people start taking short cuts or start using and compromising on cheaper foods.”

He is demanding extra money for care home kitchens, lunch clubs and meals on wheels in the event that a ‘no deal’ Brexit means higher food prices.

Meanwhile, Richard Ring, finance director of Apetito, a care sector meals supplier and catering service provider, told the BBC’s Ross Hawkins: “We have doubled our raw material stocks and added a further week to our pre-made foods.”

The company had stockpiled 1200 pallets of food worth £5m as a precaution.

“Eight to ten weeks we can cope with that, after that it gets a lot more challenging and there will likely be a substantial reduction in the range we offer,” he said.

The Department for Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a statement that daily conference calls with the food industry to check on data about prices, shortages and supply were already underway, along with detailed ‘no deal’ planning.

However, James Bielby, chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD), said the government needed to do a lot more to help, not simply gather information.

“There’s going to be a real risk that those vulnerable groups who require the food and drink that they need won’t be able to have the full range of products that are available currently.

“There will be some extra resource within Defra to deal with any queries but we know that isn’t going to be anywhere near enough. We know there are things that nobody has considered.

“We’re dealing with an entirely new trading landscape and at the moment we are walking off the cliff, in the dark without a torch,” he said.

Copyright 2019 Public Sector Catering
Dewberry Redpoint Limited is a company Registered in England and Wales No : 03129594 Registered Office:
Riverbridge House, Anchor Boulevard, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, DA2 6SL VAT registered, number 305 8752 95.

Design & Development by Eton Digital