Rubies in the Rubble apple orchard glean

Source: Rubies in the Rubble

The Rubies team gleaned an apple orchard, joined by friends from Oddbox and The Felix Project

It’s been another turbulent year – with an uncertain finish in sigh. We started 2021 with a lockdown – a hard hit on all restaurant businesses, and our hospitality side, too. Then, a few months out the other side, our supply chains were tested to the max. The combination of Covid and Brexit hit supply of products and labour throughout the summer. These shortages affected every business: from petrol stations’ fuel deliveries to manufacturers’ supplies, to farmers’ seasonal fruit pickers. We’ve felt the sharp price increases, stock delays, and manufacturing caps.

And now, just as businesses rebuild and gain confidence, Covid numbers rise sharply again with the new variant. Red-listed countries are back on the agenda and the fear of another Covid Christmas is causing many to stay at home.

I sound all pain and misery, but there have been some great outcomes this year too!

The Olympics in Tokyo brought a lot of joy to many across the world – a show of human determination and unity. And then England’s football team and Emma Raducanu provided some of my biggest adrenaline moments of the year! At Rubies in the Rubble we launched into a big four supermarket (hi Morrisons), we launched our first advertising campaign, and started an incredible partnership with Gousto.

But, in my opinion, the best outcome of 2021 has been the spotlight on our planet and people.

Within the workplace, there has been amazing emphasis on a fairer and more diverse workplace for all – we’ve all been challenged to reflect on our biases and put tangible actions in place. Improving diversity & inclusion can only be a good thing for business.

And for our planet, of course, we saw a great focus on the environment in the lead-up to COP26 in Glasgow, in November. The urgency to act now for the future of our planet and the voice of individuals has never been stronger. We marked this as a team with a glean of an apple orchard, joined by friends from Oddbox and The Felix Project.

We have been ruffled and shaken this year and therefore, if there’s one thing I hope we take away from 2021, it’s that life is too short to let it go by without acting and living for what you believe in and to make all our actions count.

Have a wonderful Christmas wherever you are – focusing on the joys of what we have amid this crazy time of uncertainty and what can sometimes feel unfair.