The Environment Secretary has praised the “hidden heroes” of the food and drink industry who have “rallied in an extraordinary way” to feed the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an open letter to the industry, George Eustice paid tribute to “all those working round the clock to keep the nation fed”, including stores and everyone delivering goods around the country and to UK homes.
“Everyone working in the food and drink industry has rallied in an extraordinary way to respond to this unprecedented challenge,” the minister said.
“Having worked in the food industry myself, I am personally enormously proud and thankful for all the work that you have done in recent weeks, and will be asked to do in the weeks ahead. In many cases you are the hidden heroes, and the country is grateful for all that you have done.”
Association of Convenience Store chief executive James Lowman said: “We’re pleased that the Secretary of State has given this public recognition to the people working in our industry. This is consistent with the private support we have had from the Prime Minister and multiple Secretaries of State who are grateful for the work our industry is doing.
“Local shops are keeping thousands of communities going whilst adapting to new advice and guidance on an almost daily basis, as well as branching out into new services like home delivery which are crucial for vulnerable and isolated customers.”
C-store retailers across the UK have been going the extra mile to help elderly and vulnerable people in their communities, including by ramping-up home deliveries with the help of volunteers and hard-working staff.