Fairway gives leave of absence to four staff members amid crisis

fairway foodservice

Fairway Foodservice have made the decision to furlough four out of 11 staff members, as chief executive Chris Binge looks to future-proof the buying group over the coming months.

“I have furloughed four of the eleven of us and will review again in mid-April to possibly have to increase the number of furloughed staff for May,” he explains. “I am looking to get through to June and hope the future will be clearer then and we can make a constructive plan rather than “survival”.

Read more: Six things we learned at Fairway Foodservice’s Meet the Member event

Binge had previously warned of a poorly managed response to the coronavirus outbreak from the government and how it could be very dangerous for smaller, independent wholesalers, even when the pandemic ends.

“There’s something not right,” said Binge. “I know the situation we’re in and we’re in a really bad place, but these are viable, decent businesses. It just seems crazy that the government are willing to pay 80% of the salary bill for someone to sit at home, but you’re not prepared to say ‘don’t sit at home, stay in the business’ and we’ll pay a bit more money and keep the business alive. If we’ve got trucks and people available, we can deliver products to hospitals, schools and homes.”

“This is an exaggerated example but, in theory, the retailers will take a bigger share of the foodservice market and you’ll end up with the whole of food being dominated by maybe ten big players and some very very very small niche operators. I don’t think that’s a great situation to be in, but I think it’s an inevitable consequence of what’s happening at the moment,” he added.

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


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