Food Minister David Heath praised the wholesale sector for its contribution to the UK economy at a House of Commons reception hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Wholesale Group.
Mr Heath said: “The wholesale distribution sector is a most crucial link in the food supply chain. Without it the food and drink industry cannot function, let alone grow.
“There’s no point in producing stuff if you can’t get it to the people who want to buy it, eat it and drink it. That’s what you do and we are very grateful.”
Wholesalers and suppliers met MPs and peers at the reception which was organised by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.
FWD chief executive James Bielby told MPs: “Up and down the country tonight there are delivery vehicles battling through whatever the elements can throw at them to make sure that shops are stocked, restaurants and cafes are open and vital public services are able to function.
They’re not asking shoppers to venture out to edge-of-town retail parks. They are taking food and drink into towns, villages, and residential neighbourhoods, even in the most remote locations.It’s service like this that demonstrate just how valuable our members and their customers are, not only in their economic contribution, but in their social contribution too.”
*Pictured are (left) James Bielbly, FWD chief executive and food minister David Heath MP