Hospitality & Tourism

Published: July 23, 2020 | Updated: July 23, 2020

“We felt that it was our moral obligation and duty to do what we can to help” says director

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A food wholesaler ramped up its efforts to supply food to its restaurant customers during lockdown and also help care homes and charities through generous donations.

While 84 per cent of UK hospitality closed temporarily, Bournemouth-based Country Fare Foodservice turned its focus on customers continuing to trade as community shops or NHS and private care homes.

It also spread additional gratitude by donating boxes of luxury biscuits to key workers across Dorset Council and care homes as a ‘thank you’.

Gavin Millward, Director, said: “It’s vital to support each other during this time.

“Those on the front line, and the businesses trying to survive, required urgent help to ensure the future of local hospitality.

“We felt that it was our moral obligation and duty to do what we can to help.”

Country Fare also partnered with several local churches donating food boxes to vulnerable families.

They helped fulfil orders of more than 7,000 non-profit fruit and vegetable boxes per week to help them achieve their goal.

The business also arranged for a 1,000 Euro donation to go to Hope for Food after one of its suppliers was looking to donate to a good cause.

The Bournemouth-based charity provides life essentials on a day-to-day basis for those in need of help.

As hospitality experienced an unexpected blackout, Country Fare concentrated on ensuring customers continued to have cashflow while normal trade was diminished.

Providing fruit and vegetable boxes to restaurants to then deliver to the general public helped many as grant payments were being finalised.

Andy Lennox

Andy Lennox, Director of Zim Braai and Founder of The Wonky Table, a group connecting hospitality businesses, said “Country Fare’s initiative to provide veg and fruit boxes through designated restaurants at the beginning of the pandemic, and onwards, was a much needed lifeline for our customer base.

“As supermarkets adjusted to their increased demands it also helped us keep relevant as our restaurants were closed.”

Tom Cooper, from Barefaced Brewing, a craft brewery based in Bournemouth Triangle, said: “The fruit and veg boxes Country Fare were providing to us over lockdown were a vital lifeline to those in isolation.

“They were critical to helping our cashflow whilst we waited for our wholesale trade to return.”

Through its new #BounceBackBetter campaign, the Country Fare team is continuing to promote social responsibility by helping local community projects.