Bidfood has bit back at claims its supply of food to schools is under threat.
The wholesale giant has disputed the suggestion made by school catering company Taylor Shaw that its supply of fresh, frozen and ambient product has “arrived late and in some cases not at all” in the past two weeks.
The warning from Taylor Shaw sparked Sheffield City Council to issue frozen and ambient “emergency stand-by menu items” to schools within its catchment area from this week.
However, Bidfood told The Grocer it completed 98% of its deliveries on time over the past fortnight, with the remainder arriving a day later.
“We are working hard to ensure that the wider challenges faced by the industry do not impact our customers,” said Bidfood CEO Andrew Selley.
“Whilst we don’t believe there is any threat to supply for the schools that Bidfood delivers to, we do believe that the government can play a significant role here in resolving these industry-wide resource issues currently being felt across foodservice, hospitality, retail and the entire food supply chain.”
Selley added Bidfood was asking customers to place orders earlier in the day and to share their forecasts in anticipation of re-stocking for the September school return.
Bidfood is one of a growing number of food and drink companies calling on the government to extend driver hours in a bid to tackle the shortage of HGV hauliers.
During crisis talks yesterday, Defra reassured logistics and food and drink leaders that the government was taking the driver shortage seriously and was looking at a number of short, medium and long-term solutions.