Take-away Food: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd April 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Labour, Denton and Reddish

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with representatives of the mobile catering industry on the support this industry may be able to provide to society during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. The Government has regular engagement across the industry including the delivery to home sector and the industry continues to monitor the situation closely, taking the necessary steps to address issues where they arise. Following a significant spike in consumer demand, we have now seen stock levels in supermarkets improve. To support the food sector, the government temporarily relaxed competition law and regulations relating to driver hours and delivery times so that the sector could work together to keep putting food on the shelves.

We are working quickly to support those who need help getting essential food supplies, and we are working with retailers and the voluntary sector to ensure that people are supported to shop for others safely. We welcome the actions that industry is taking, including hiring more staff, and prioritising delivery slots and shopping times for those that need them most. We are grateful for the extensive support and positive collaboration that the industry has shown.

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