At the beginning of lockdown Food and Drink North East (FADNE) consulted hundreds of food and drink producers and merchants from across our region. Asking them how the COVID-19 crisis will impact their businesses. The results were startling, to say the least, with many stating the resultant down-turn in trade could mean they could go out of business within one to three months.
The current crisis has changed everything, at least in the short-term, leaving many of our local food and drink businesses fighting for survival. With retailers and routes to market closed many are left sitting on stock they cannot sell.
If something was not done to stimulate trade and kick-start cashflow we are at real risk of losing many of our most innovative businesses. This will trigger thousands of job losses and devastate our regional economy.
Food and Drink North East has created the Local Heroes initiative. An online food market that promotes, sells and delivers high-quality local North East food and drink to homes and people across our region. Weekly deliveries are collated and dispatched every Friday from our headquarters at The Beacon on Westgate Road in Newcastle. Each order delivered by our logistics partners Zmove – an innovative, regionally-based zero-emissions bicycle delivery service.
Originally set up as a twelve-week pilot the initiative is designed to support local businesses large and small and each order also includes a 10% donation to our ‘Community Fund’ enabling us to help to the most vulnerable and hardest hit in our communities.
This initiative is a proactive and coordinated response aimed at to connecting local people to local food like never before while helping people need and reducing our impact on the environment. We encourage you to visit the Virtual Market and place an order today!