Three of the south-east’s leading wholesale markets: New Covent Garden, New Spitalfields and Western International, have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlining the issues that the Covid crisis has caused and urging for support.
Jason Tanner of The Menu Partners warned that the market was “on its last legs but is certainly not ready to concede defeat. He continued, “I, along with many others who work closely with the hospitality industry call for greater clarity and support as we edge closer to the end of this second national lockdown. Experts argue that the hospitality industry and all those associated earn 40 per cent of revenues between Halloween and new year’s eve – these expected revenues have been devastated by November’s month-long lockdown.”
The letter follows similar letters by other parts of the food and produce industries. Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium, which signed one of the previous letters, commented, “Come on Boris – Stop ignoring a key food sector which normally supplies around 35 per cent of the nation’s food. In adversity they’ve reinvented themselves to offer home deliveries and also supported numerous food banks. However, the hospitality sector remains closed and cannot re-open without suppliers.
“We are simply asking to be treated equally and be given modest Government support so they can feed the nation again soon. In addition, don’t forget the flower and plant wholesalers who are in exactly the same position as the events industry is closed. FPC as a signatory to the earlier letter totally supports the need for Government action now.”