Food service providor hit hard by COVID-19 impact

Beef Central, 22/05/2020

ONE of Australia’s largest domestic wholesale food service providores has put off 100 staff across its Australia-wide operations.

Bidfood, with operations at more than 40 sites in all Australian states, is heavily exposed to the nation’s food service industry, which has been hardest-hit by distancing restrictions put in place since COVID-19.

The company has made 100 staff forcibly redundant, an item in today’s The Australian says.

The company lists its main customer markets as being hotels, pubs & clubs; restaurants, airlines, cafes, resorts and theme parks; sporting venues, fast food outlets and the cruise line industry. All have either closed, or been heavily hit by COVID-19 closures across Australia over the past six weeks.

The United Workers Union told The Australian on Thursday that Bidfood management had told union officials that more than 100 employees would be made redundant from close of business on Friday.

Bidfood employs about 2500 workers across Australia and made $2.6 billion in revenue in 2019.

Fresh and frozen meat is a large part of the company’s offer, including beef and lamb, pork and chicken.

Along with other food service wholesale distributor competitors like PFD and Global, Bidfood is a major domestic purchaser of red meat, procuring raw material from many of Australia’s largest red meat processors. This is sold to food service customers either under processor-owned commercial brands, or re-branded under Bidfood’s own Classic Meats labels including Emerald Valley pasture fed beef and lamb, and Bounty Premium grainfed beef.  The company maintains portion cutting rooms in a number of capital cities.

In information on the company’s website providing guidance to customers during the CIVID-19 period, Bidfood said the impact of trading restrictions, along with changes to the way communities interact, would undoubtedly see a new landscape for Australian hospitality in the months to come.

“Takeaway and delivery are the new business strongholds, and with dine-in being re-introduced in stages, menus for reduced capacity also need to be considered,” the company told customers.

“Many venues have turned their a la carte kitchens into ‘production’ kitchens, making re-heatable home meals or supplying deconstructed meal boxes for customers to make their favourite dishes themselves at home.”




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