COVID-19 Support

At this challenging time, the interests of our producers, clients, staff and supporters are at the centre of what we do to support the food and drink industry.   We have spoken to many producers and manufacturers over the last few weeks and understand the challenges being faced as a result of the COVID-19 Virus. We are taking proactive steps to ensure continued support to our clients, such as yourself, during this period of immense disruption and change.

The Government has identified food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as a key public service and so we appreciate the efforts currently being undertaken by all of the businesses within our network.

In order to continue supporting your operations at this crucial time we have outlined below the support we can continue to offer you through the Forum based on current Government guidelines, however these are subject to change following further advice.

Our online resources can be found here:

Managing Your Supply Chain

COVID-19 Checklist Part 1

COVID-19 Checklist Part 2

Home Delivery Procedure

Managing Your Social Media

Technical Team

We appreciate that you need to maintain your food management standards, train new staff in food safety, increase production capacity or examine the need to diversify into new markets. Our Technical Team are on hand to answer calls and assist you with your concerns. You can access a range of commercial services that aim to alleviate the current pressures on your business. Visits to production facilities will only be made following the completion of site and food safety risk assessments.

The Technical Team can assist with the following:

  • Food Safety Management Systems [SALSA (all additions), BRC (all types), STS, Red Tractor etc.]
  • Food safety/HACCP training (levels 2 and 3) for new or temporary staff
  • Bespoke training e.g. auditing, allergen awareness
  • Label/artwork checks or completion
  • Nutritional analysis & legal claim determination
  • Shelf life prediction
  • Interim Technical Management/mentoring
  • Internal systems & pre-audits
  • 5 Star Rating Support
  • Risk Assessment & Health & Safety Management
  • Technical trouble shooting
  • Process & launch expertise
  • Food specification completion e.g. MCreate
  • Allergen validation/allergen compliance

If you believe you require support from the Technical Team over the coming weeks, it is worth considering joining as a Business Member in order to benefit from discounts on services. Full details of which can be found here: https://www.foodanddrinkforum.co.uk/public/?page_id=143

Call The Technical Team today on 0115 975 8810.

Business Solutions

We have put systems in place at all three food parks in liaison with the relevant landlords to ensure there is a member of staff based at each site during normal operating hours. If you are visiting one of our sites, please ensure you follow site guidelines and risk assessments to minimise contact between people. Meeting room hire at our sites is not available to groups of more than 5 people at the present time.

Staff at our sites are still able to take calls and emails and direct you to the correct Forum staff if you need assistance with:

  • Finding food-grade premises and development kitchens
  • Accessing market intelligence
  • Industry updates and advice
  • Accessing suppliers through our online directory
  • Business continuity planning

Please contact us on 0115 975 8810.

We encourage you to make use of our partners and supporters, where we guarantee the information will be up to date and will go further to explain the complexities of the support and reasoning behind decisions being made at a Government level.  Our team can direct you to other external guidance and support through our network of providers. Please find below the key support providers in the areas that we operate.

Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Support
East Midlands Chamber of Commerce www.emc-dnl.co.uk/news/2020/02/24/coronavirus-planning-ahead/
D2N2 Growth Hub http://www.d2n2lep.org/Covid-19
Leicester & Leicestershire (LLEP) Support
East Midlands Chamber of Commerce www.emc-dnl.co.uk/news/2020/02/24/coronavirus-planning-ahead/
Business Gateway Growth Hub https://bizgateway.org.uk/our-services/support/coronavirus-covid-19/
South East Midlands (SEMLEP) Support
SEMLEP Growth Hub https://www.semlepgrowthhub.com/coronavirus/
Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce https://www.northants-chamber.co.uk/news/covid-19-crisis-a-call-to-action-for-northamptonshires-business-community
West of England Support
West of England LEP https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/support-for-business-through-coronavirus-covid-19/
National Support
British Chambers of Commerce https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/coronavirus
Federation of Small Businesses https://www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/covid19.html
British Business Bank – Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/
SALSA https://www.salsafood.co.uk/newsDetail.php?n=464
BRC http://brc.org.uk/coronavirus/
The Federation of Food and Drink http://www.fdf.org.uk/news_index.aspx
Food Standards Agency https://www.food.gov.uk/
Public Health England – COVID Guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
The Grocer https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/coronavirus/2129.subject
Food Manufacture https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Trending/COVID-19
Hospitality Action – Emergency Grant for Hospitality Workers https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/get-help
HM Government Business Support – Coronavirus Financial Support https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/?_cldee=dHJ1ZGkud2FsZHJhbUBmb29kYW5kZHJpbmtmb3J1bS5jby51aw%3d%3d&recipientid=contact-1cf012d86035e71180f6c4346bacceb8-f49a5558d2b7438186c4df8a81f207e1&esid=7a3211cf-0e6d-ea11-a811-000d3ab87c51
GOV.UK – Support for Businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
GOV.UK – Guidance for Food Businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19
GOV.UK – Supply Chain Info https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gca-position-statement-on-current-supply-arrangements
GOV.UK – Maintaining Education Provision https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
GOV.UK – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#how-to-apply
ACAS – for HR advice https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
HMRC have set up a new helpline 0800 0159 559 for businesses and self-employed people struggling to pay their tax.

Workforce Development

Unfortunately, we have been required to postpone all events following Government guidance. We will reissue event details and dates to all clients, including those that were already booked to the courses, once we are permitted to do so.

Importantly, the postponement of events does not stop our support to you over the coming weeks. Although we are currently limiting advisor visits with clients, you can meet on a 1:1 basis following a risk assessment or, alternatively, meetings can be held via telephone or video call. We are currently looking at ways that we can deliver our workshops through online resources and will share this information as soon as available.

For further information call us on 0115 975 8810.

FEAST2

We will continue to provide all FEAST 2 clients with the same level of funded support and access to grant funding as always.

  • Technical Support including:
    • Food Safety Management Systems [SALSA (all additions), BRC (all types), STS, Red Tractor etc.]
    • Food safety/HACCP advice
    • Internal audit and allergen awareness advice
    • Label/artwork checks or completion
    • Nutritional analysis & legal claim determination
    • Shelf life prediction
    • Interim Technical Management/mentoring
    • Internal systems & pre-audits
    • 5 Star Rating Support
    • Risk Assessment & Health & Safety Management
    • Technical trouble shooting
    • Process & launch expertise
    • Food specification completion e.g. MCreate
    • Allergen validation/allergen compliance
  • Grant Support – eligible businesses can access up to 25% in grant funding to support the purchase of production equipment. The application process is simple and can be undertaken remotely through our team of advisers.
  • Business Advice and Guidance – our mentoring programme links businesses with food and drink industry experts to provide hands-on advice and guidance, and can be delivered remotely through email, calls and video calls.
    • We have a range of resources that can be sent to you to help with a variety of topics that can be sent over via email or post.

If you are an existing client and have been approved a grant, we will still be collecting evidence and paperwork so that the grant can be paid to you in a timely manner.

FEAST2 Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must have a food or drink manufacturing business based in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire or the South East Midlands
  • You must have less than 250 employees
  • You must have an annual turnover of less than €50million, and an annual balance sheet of less than €43million
  • You must be predominantly operating B2B

Please do not stop making contact with us, we are here to help and support you and it’s only by speaking with you that we have a full understanding of the pressure points you may be experiencing at present.  We will keep in regular contact with you, but always welcome your call, email or communication. You can also follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FoodDrinkForum) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thefoodanddrinkforum/) for further up-to-date information.