By Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, FMI
As the food industry focuses on our critical task of supplying grocery products to shoppers during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to have strong partners to back our efforts. This crisis has created many fast and unexpected changes in how we normally do business. That means we need to explore new partners and business operations to meet and adapt to supply chain demands.
Foodservice To the Rescue
At the moment, many food retailers may be facing shortages and outages of products. There is also strained capacity in transportation and warehousing systems. However, many broad-line foodservice distributors have inventory and assets at the ready.
FMI has partnered with the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), United Fresh Produce, National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and North American Meat Institute (NAMI) to mix and match your needs for products, along with transportation and/or warehousing services. Through an online form, retailers can share their needs and the association partners will help match them with available resources. Matching services can be made in:
- Products for resale.
- Excess ingredients, products for meal preparation.
Partnering on New Product Lines
A number of distilleries across America have converted their production operations to making hand sanitizers including Anheuser-Busch. FMI has engaged with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a trade association representing distillers across the country. Their goal is to provide their production capabilities to help supply the food industry’s needs.
According to DISCUS, distilleries are producing their own supply based on access to packaging, supplies, etc. Some of the supply is industrial; some is for resale; and some is to be used in donations. Access this new supply of hand sanitizer at Distillers Responding to COVID-19.
Distillers Responding to COVID-19
More Partnerships To Come
Now is the time to strengthen our existing partnerships and build new ones. FMI is working hard to provide resources and solutions for the food industry during the COVID-19 outbreak. See our resources, updated regularly online and stay in touch.