As the global pandemic tightens its grip, a problem that has always blighted society has been exacerbated – food shortages. As one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers, Quattro Foods is in the unique position of being able to help by distributing surplus stock to those who need it.
Quattro’s MD Sam Brower was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent and Express FM to talk about the ways in which her company is battling through the crisis and trying to help others at the same time. Sam spoke about the decline of the hospitality industry and how the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants at the end of March created an instant 90% loss in business. But rather than letting that stop them, they decided to use the opportunity to help feed people for free.
About 50% of their staff are still working, and in an effort to stay positive, Quattro Foods made the decision to stay open and support local charities. Working safely, Quattro staff turned their attention from hospitality supply to making sure people in Portsmouth and the wider community are not going hungry.
Quattro has partnered with The Hive and Pompey in the Community, two fantastic local charities. Sam contacts them and tells them what goodies are available and they send volunteer drivers who deliver the food to the NHS and various charities and homes. They provide meals made from pasta and rice from their own stock and Quattro’s chefs have been making compotes from fruit that was donated from suppliers. Sometimes there is surplus and they recently sent a couple of pallets to Fareshare and another to Giving World, as there was too much food for the local community.
When pubs and restaurants closed at the start of lockdown, their fresh ingredient suppliers donated leftover stock to Quattro, but now Quattro is using food that was frozen down, distributing tasty and wholesome meals where they are needed.
To close one of the interviews, Sam was asked what her hopes are for the business. She replied that they simply cannot plan until the restaurants start to reopen, possibly in July but the phased reopening of the whole hospitality sector is uncertain and many businesses will face crippling costs, making necessary changes as required.
Team Quattro has faced this unprecedented challenge with dignity and an ability to adapt and has supported the community as they, along with the rest of the world, wait to see what happens next…