Defra Secretary George Eustice thanks ‘hidden heroes’ in food industry

George Eustice arrives at the Cabinet Office in London, Britain, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Defra Secretary George Eustice today wrote an open letter to the food and drink industry, paying tribute to “all those who are working around the clock to keep the nation fed.”

Eustice said the sector is delivering “an absolutely vital service,” rallying in an extraordinary way to respond to the unprecedented challenge.

“The last three weeks have been stressful and difficult for everyone working to feed the country and provide them with other essential items. Food retailers have faced an unprecedented increase in demand and those working in food production and distribution have had to work harder than ever to ensure that food and drink are kept on the shelves,” he wrote in the lettter.

“Having worked in the food industry myself, I am personally enormously proud and thankful for all the work that you have done in recent weeks, and will be asked to do in the weeks ahead.

“In many cases you are the hidden heroes, and the country is grateful for all that you have done.”

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) expressed its pleasure on the public recognition given to the industry colleagues. James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said the government has been consistent in its support to the sector.

“We’re pleased that the Secretary of State has given this public recognition to the people working in our industry. This is consistent with the private support we have had from the Prime Minister and multiple Secretaries of State who are grateful for the work our industry is doing,” Lowman said.

“Local shops are keeping thousands of communities going whilst adapting to new advice and guidance on an almost daily basis, as well as branching out into new services like home delivery which are crucial for vulnerable and isolated customers,” he added.