UK: Lockdown 2.0 Impacts Potato Industry
In a recent analysis, AHDB looked at what the implications of a second lockdown would be for the potato industry, as well as how businesses can be better prepared for the inevitable hit. The analysts concluded that the effect is unlikely to be as dramatic as the first lockdown. “This time around, although there have been reports of some panic buying, it has certainly been at a much lower rate than back in the run-up to lockdown 1.0. It is expected that retail sales will remain strong once again but it is likely to be more consistent this time,” AHDB representatives say in a press release.
As for the foodservice sector, last time this sector was hit particularly badly with dine-in premises being forced to close. Moreover, places deemed as takeaways, such as fish and chip shops and large quickservice restaurants (QSRs), were also forced to cease trading, while they transformed their business to abide with COVID-19 secure ways of working. According to AHDB, as a result of the first lockdown, many businesses within the foodservice sector are better prepared to adapt to a takeaway/delivery service.
In March, nearly all fish and chip shops were forced to close their doors. There was a complete standstill of this market for at least three weeks. But when shops resumed operation under new regulations and ways of working, it was slow and with low volumes of throughput. Before lockdown measures eased, it was estimated that up to 95% of shops had reopened in some form but at greatly reduced capacity.
“In this lockdown, it is likely that those businesses will resort back to their previous way of working with a much smoother transition. This time of year, it is usually relatively quiet for the chipping trade anyway, due to the lack of tourist trade. In the this particular sector, we might see some further reductions in material moving over to Ireland, although reports suggest this was already slow with Ireland entering a second lockdown on 22 October for six weeks,” AHDB reps say.