We have recently been made aware of an issue looming across the supply chain, whereby, due to the ongoing covid-19 situation, a large amount of frozen food is nearing its end of life and will therefore require date extension. As the impact of the pandemic continues, it is likely that this issue will remain for some time to come, affecting everyone from suppliers to manufacturers, importers, and wholesalers.
Under normal circumstances, a revised shelf life would be agreed between the affected parties, a letter of derogation drawn up and some form of re-bagging/re-boxing and relabelling would take place. However, with the sheer volume of stock across the industry likely to require life extension, this presents a massive challenge. Cold stores may not have the space to re-label, there may be insufficient staff,and social distancing would place limitations on how quickly the work could be carried out. At a time when many businesses are already losing significant amounts of money, the cost of this could be substantial and unwelcome.
Over the last couple of weeks BFFF have been liaising with a number of members, as well as our Primary Authority, to discuss and identify possible workable solutions. It is unlikely that one solution will fit all but we are hoping that in the spirit of “we are all in this together” an acceptable route forward can be found. We will keep you updated.