Rising costs have affected almost every area of life in the last couple of years. From our homes to transport, to leisure and food, the pandemic has caused supply chain disruption across the board. The team at Quattro Foods has been grappling with the challenge of keeping costs manageable for our customers and at the same time continuing to offer a leading food manufacturing and supply service. Not only do we supply food-service organisations, retail and wholesale outlets, high street and individual restaurants, we also provide nutrition and sustenance to schools, the army and NHS trusts across the country, so the last thing we want is to increase prices for public services, already stretched to the max. But how do we strike the balance of keeping prices affordable for customers when our own costs are rising?
Our very own Sam Brower was interviewed on Heart FM this month where she told listeners candidly that rising costs and supply chain disruption in the food and drinks sector are sadly here to stay for the foreseeable future. We are just a link in the chain that is feeling the squeeze at every juncture and every food consumer in the country will be affected eventually too. No need to panic, but it certainly requires some thought about how we can innovate to come up with ingenious solutions and money saving tactics. But there’s no magic wand. For price hikes to start retreating we need communication, cooperation, support and legislation from the Government and from a raft of regional and national food and drinks authorities. A bit ambitious perhaps, but where would we be without lofty aims?
The most destructive elements of the pandemic may be starting to wane across business, but the havoc they have wreaked is here to stay. As we grapple with our new reality and work diligently to get back on our feet, we’re clear that rising costs of the food products we supply are a long-term piece of Covid collateral damage. We grafted throughout the pandemic to keep customers happy and to win new business to make up the loss suffered by so many in the hospitality sector. We do have a raft of new customers but we can’t rest on our laurels as sadly, the costs of transport, utilities and packaging have all gone up again and, with regret, we have to pass some of those increases on.
Gross profit across the board is being squeezed and, coupled with reduced footfall in the City of London, the sector is continually feeling the pinch. The Government’s latest announcements on the lifting of restrictions is great news, but will take some time to filter through to the bottom line for all of us.
So, that’s the latest (brutally honest) overview from Quattro Foods. Margins are definitely compressing and our trusting relationships with suppliers sadly don’t reduce the cost impact, as they are part of a chain too. We’re continuing to work to ensure it doesn’t spill over, but consumers may start to feel the pinch over the coming months.
However, as we move into 2022, with quality as the focus of everything we produce, coupled with the Quattro glass half full mentality, we can live in hope of a full recovery, both for us and for our customers. Fingers crossed!