Support package not working for wholesale sector, says FWD

The corona crisis support package introduced by the Chancellor does not work for the wholesale sector, due to its high overheads and lack of cash coming in, explains James Bielby, chief executive of The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD).

Bielby also described how the FWD has been engaging with Defra right up to the Secretary of State, with the officials understanding the unique pressure on foodservice distributors. “What we haven’t yet seen is a commitment that this fundamental link in the supply chain to thousands of catering and hospitality businesses will get the cash injection it needs to carry on serving its customers

“Our members have provided Treasury and Defra officials with financial data and business modelling to help them take the case for funding to the Chancellor. We have passed Government guidance one way and members’ questions the other,” he adds, also pointing out that the FWD is in regular contact with other Government departments and food industry working groups.

Read more: FWD and SWA give their take on the budget

The FWD has also set up a discussion forum for its members to share intelligence and ask questions regarding the corona crisis, with guidance for wholesalers also on its website. “We have interpreted the guidance as it applies to wholesale and taken legal advice where necessary,” says Bielby. “We set up a forum for members to share resources such as people and vehicles and along with other trade associates and charities, we have put in place systems to help foodservice wholesalers move on the stock from their warehouses. We have compiled a database of members who are now offering home delivery services, and we’ve arranged for trade charities to provide welfare support for members’ teams.”

Read more: Unitas boss calls on government for more coronavirus support

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


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