The food eco-system bounces back

Food producers

The food eco-system is fundamental to a large number of our regions businesses.  Living on the edge of Scotland and England we are used to bouncing back from the occasional invading armies moving north or south. During COVID we have witnessed the fortitude of part of this system. As lockdown opens up again we will see even more examples from our brilliant regional business eco-system.

Our food producers have done a brilliant job over the last seven weeks.  Every week on behalf of This is Cumbria we have thanked the numerous food businesses that ensured we all had food on our tables.

There are numerous stories of delis ( Keswick Cheese  & Penrith Chopping Block) brewers (Carlisle Brewers) cheese makers (Butlers Larder), pie makers (The Pie Mill whose father died of COVID), donut makers (Bruce and Luke’s)  and butter makers (Winter Tarn Dairy) coming together to offer solutions for us consumers. Others like Shed1Gin even managed to produce hand sanitiser at a time when supply was dangerously low.  Our map grew exponentially as people shared good news from across the county.

So once more we say thank you to the great food and drink producers from our place.

Food Retailers and Wholesalers

With the closure of hotels and restaurants food wholesalers pivoted their models to service the public rather than business.  Our local brands such as the Pioneer , Caterite, McClures & Cranstons  and so many more served us well.  We should remember that even though they were extremely busy serving the public they had in many cases lost most of their income that came from servicing the hotel and restaurant industries.

From the larger independents such as Booths to the smaller village stores such as Cartmell Food Shed they have all kept us going.  They have all done this in times of great uncertainty.  We will always owe these guys a debt of gratitude.  They have not had the stay at home break and still face the same uncertain future that we all do.

Restaurants and cafes

With the enforced close-down only allowing takeaways many of these businesses simply could not operate.  Those that did had to build a takeaway system from scratch, work with the uncertainty of COVID and manage a business with a fall in turnover of at least 80%.

With the loosening of the Stay at Home Message more restaurants and cafes can now operate.  They have changed their business model to delivery or collection.  At the same time, they must plan for a future social distancing post COVID world.

Over the coming weeks these guys will work the second miracle of our food eco-system.  Most of us won’t notice.  So please stop and think.  These businesses will have to offer takeaway food from a business set up to serve food at tables.  They will have to work out how to package the meals, deal with outside orders, deliveries, collections, and online payments.  At a time when the rules on social distancing evolve. When they will probably only achieve part of their previous turnover and must plan for the eventual reopening of their proper business.

At the same time all their wholesalers still must balance the demands of their new public consumers with trying to support the restaurants who to begin with will not know how much limited stock to carry.

The next stage is starting

There are so many food businesses doing this already.  Here are just a few:

Halston in Carlisle : Sunday Roast to go

Lanercost Tea Rooms : offering weekend takeaways

Yewdale Inn Coniston : Fish and chip takeaways in Coniston

The Good Sister Carlisle : Picnic Boxes Carlisle

Paolos Fish & Chips : Collection Carlisle

There are so many more and we will happily add them to our map NO CHARGE

Supporting the food eco-system

Behind the front line quietly worked a band of businesses.  They worked long hours hidden from public view and include web experts supporting the online changes like Sparrow Digital, Black Lab Software and Bungalistic to experts in the online cloud like Beaty Consultancy  and digital marketing like KC Creative .Then there were finance companies smoothing the loan applications like Enterprise Answers and solicitors like Cartmell Shepherd helping with everything from employment advice to will making.  There were also other individual experts such as accountants , food safety experts (ML3 Technical) and photographers capturing business images (Jenny Woolgar) playing their parts.

Behind the eco-system

A brilliant face group set up as Small Business Support Carlisle captures part of the eco-system coming back to life that can support the bounce back of the food eco system.  We are all involved in this eco-system with everything from humanising the COVID safety message (Plus3k) to entertaining children online (Rainbow Jelly) and planning an online party to get us through this ( Happy out Loud Day)

We are so proud to be associated with all the large and small businesses in our eco-system and know our region can and will show the country how to truly bounce back from COVID19.

Please contact us with any thoughts you have on the food eco-system at Thomas Jardine and Co.

 

 


COVID wars episode IV a new hope

COVID wars the beginning

In a market a long time ago (2019) a small group of independents gathered to fight the global food empires.  Driven by a dream of two jedi’s of the food world from the planets Hawkshead Relish and Ginger Bakers. They looked to spread the force of food made with passion.

Our jedi’s passed their plan to a small group of rebels from the planets Thomas Jardine & Co and the Family Business Network.  We were fortunate enough to get support from the mighty Cartmell Shepherd and Enterprise Answers.  With the support of Cartmells and Enterprise a small rebel fleet was established

The rebel alliance

Our drive to support the rebels comes from watching our two sons.  Both were fighting as independents in different sectors.  Our eldest runs the Guild a safe base for freelancers and managers not tied to a corporate desk.  Whilst our youngest takes his fight to the food empire with his partner in crime on the good ship Bruce and Luke’s.

Rebels from across the market all had similar tales to tell. They were gathering on an alliance planet called the Farmshop & Deli Show.  Our small fleet was joined by ships from Kin Vodka, Tray Bakes, Pennington’s Liqueurs, Lakeland Artisan and Farrer’s.  The alliance flew under the This is Cumbria banner. The banner was developed by We are Eclectic and printed by Printing Plus and was to be proudly flown on the planet Farmshop & Deli.

The movement hadn’t finished yet.  the generosity of Cartmells and Enterprise and uniforms from Liberty Workware meant we could launch a new millennium ship that housed new freedom fighters like Shed1Gin, ML3, Molly Rose, The Toffee Shop and the Pie Mill joined us on our crusade.

The need for a new hope

The first gathering at the planet of Farmshop & Deli was a huge success.  The alliance grew in confidence and new fighters from Cakes from the Lakes, Eden Valley Meat Company, Hawkshead Brewery and Vies Jamaican Rum Cakes joined us for a return trip to the planet Farmshop and Deli in 2020.

Then a dark force not seen for a millennium appeared just off our planet.  The COVID death star threatened both the rebel alliance and the empire itself.  So for the good of our galaxy the fleets had to disperse and locked down in their own planets until the time came when we could re-emerge and complete our mission.

Planning for the future after the death star

In this dark time none of the rebels have stood still.  Some have focused on homing their jedi skills. Others have continued to supply their homelands with brilliant food and drink.  Soon we will have a plan to deal with the death star.  We still have to compete with the empire.

The gradual ending of lock down means we can continue our fight to bring food and drink made with passion to our homelands. Maybe what we have learned is that movements work best with rebels with a cause .

The credits will soon role on this episode and we will be ready for the next one.  Slightly older and slightly wiser.

May the force be with us.

 

 

 


Bounce back : think global act local

Bounce back

Bounce back is going to be a key phrase over the next few months.  We need to bounce back from the social effects of COVID19.  Our health sector has to bounce back from the impact of COVID19.  The health service has to deal with all the other health problems that are still out there. In this post, we are going to talk briefly about how we are seeing  bounce back working for businesses and people we are dealing with. But first some big picture stuff:

The global and national need for bounce back

The economy rightly has not been at the forefront of our minds as we deal with the horrendous potential threat that COVID19 brought. Over the last 6 weeks, society rightly has come together to cap the impacts of COVID19.

As we start to deal with the beginning of the end of the initial impact of COVID19.  We now need to look at how we can ensure the impact of COVID19 does not destroy our economic ability to fund our capability to deal with any future variants of this horrible virus.  In short our economy has to bounce back . We have to ensure business is there to support our health service.  Business has to be there to provide the services that lead to social cohesion brought about social contact. Our food supply chain has to be robust enough to keep us in food following the inevitable global supply chain shocks that will follow the outbreak of COVI19.

So what have we seen this week that raises our hopes of bounce back?

Bounce back from the local and global view

This week Thomas Jardine & Co have been fortunate enough to witness bounce back from a local and a global view.  At the beginning of the week Jacqui ran a discussion for Dr Louise Scholes with Loughborough International Masters Students studying Family Business.  The students joined the virtual course from across the globe.  Interesting 50% of them were next gens in waiting.  Of course the session focused on the impact of COVID19.  From an international perspective many of the students wanted to know if the new shift of focus to local rather than global supply would change. It was accepted that this was the time for leaders to step up. all food of thought.

Bounce back from a local and national view

At the end of the week Jacqui held an online peer group for Be the Business for next generation family business from across the North West of England.  Again the focus of these people who will be running their family businesses in the future was palpable.  They are determined to bounce their businesses back to at least where they were before COVID19 hit.  This level of positivity in a time when many business literally fell to no turnover at all gives us real hope that many family businesses will bounce back.

Thomas Jardine & Co are also part of the Guild in Carlisle.  Here we witness some amazing resilience from our fellow Guilders.  This ranges from just helping each other get new ideas of the ground.  To moral support to get through the lock down. To listening and helping each other with the tasks needed for business survival during COVID19 lockdown.  We are so proud to be part of this coworking space which will be the germination for so many business solutions in the coming months.

Bounce back and the food sector

Whilst attending an online event by the Food Ethics Council we were reminded of the importance of a resilient food supply chain.  Thomas Jardine & Co are monitoring the true resilience of our local food businesses through our work with This is Cumbria.  The hospitality sector in the UK has basically been shut down. But it has refused to stay there and is already trying to bounce back.  We are so proud of our local food businesses who have done everything from producing hand sanitiser to delivering food treats.  They have achieved this whilst a huge part of society had rightly gone into lockdown. In many cases, these businesses have had to figure out how to balance safety of their people with  the future of their business and deserve our utmost respect.

We all have to help each other bounce back

Every day we see examples of family businesses , food businesses and freelancers bouncing back.  For this to continue we need to answer the three questions Tony Danker asked at a Be the Business event this week:

What have you got right or wrong over the last six weeks?

What are the big decisions over the next six weeks?

What’s it like to be a leader right now.

Go ahead answer these questions and please feel free to share with your peers.  It’s time to bounce back.