Search
The Caterer

Mary Quicke's open letter to Britain's food lovers

14 April 2020 by
Mary Quicke's open letter to Britain's food lovers

As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly takes its toll on artisan food and drink in the UK, Mary Quicke, the founder of cheese producer Quicke's in Exeter, has written an open letter to all those in the country who value the rich tapestry of independents who find themselves under threat:

"We have been overwhelmed by the drive from all sides to get our cheese to you. I'd like to thank everyone for being committed to us and our cheese.

"With supermarket shelves emptying as fast as they can be stacked, it looks to people who love food that all food producers must be doing well. However, for those speciality artisan producers like us, who sell little or nothing to supermarkets, the current situation is devastating.

"Many of the restaurants around the world that champion our products are closed. Many deli counters are closed. Our champions are furloughed or laid off. The distributors who drive sales through the food web are struggling. In the urgency to feed the one-third of the world's population that are currently locked down, the small and the artisan is getting left out. We risk losing the whole of the complex ecology of our artisan food system: just in cheese, that's the amazing diversity of artisan cheesemakers that has developed over the past 30 years.

"Many restaurants and small food producers are moving online. Thank you for that; get your piece of joy through the post. It doesn't replace the volumes that we've lost elsewhere. Many businesses are reporting sales of half to one-tenth from before the crisis.

"What to do? Please, find the great initiatives getting good food online. Cook up great dishes and have an online dinner party. Give a gift of great food to the loved ones you can't see face to face. Treat yourself and your family to a party night at home with a rich British cheeseboard. Get to know the cheesemongers, food producers, butchers and chefs reaching out online.

"When this is all over, rejoice and get back out to the delis, restaurants and cheesemongers that support us. Together we can survive to serve you and our world when this is all done.

Be inspired by your connection to food and farming, the power you have, and the difference you make in the world."

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.