In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornwall’s food and drink sector has become increasingly aware of the fragility of the current supply chains, which has been exacerbated by the reliance of the local economy on the food service, leisure and tourism sector.

In addition to the wide-ranging and ongoing challenges brought about by the pandemic, Cornwall’s food and drink sector is faced with the uncertainty of Brexit trade agreements. By shortening supply chains to improve responsiveness and robustness, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (CIoS LEP) intends to support the development of a more regional food supply chain infrastructure, nurturing the growth of a diverse base of small and medium food producers and strengthening the local economy.

In response to the significant changing demands and challenges of supply within Cornwall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Agritech Cornwall funded this 12 week study to inform the views of the CIoS LEP in better understanding how they can respond to and support the needs of the Cornish food and drink sector.

This work took the form of four surveys; one within the education sector and one within the care sector to understand the potential for increased usage of local produce within public procurement catering, one within the farm shop sector to understand the significant challenges and opportunities that stores have been faced with as a result of the pandemic, and one within the fishing sector to understand the impact of disrupted supply chains on fishing activity and routes to market.

The four sets of survey results are available to view on the slideshows below:

To download the final report on the COVID-19 Cornwall Food and Drink project, please click here.

This work is being carried out in partnership with the CIoS LEPCornwall Council, the National Farmers Union and the University of Exeter. The research is being funded by Agritech Cornwall through the European Regional Development Fund. The anonymous survey data will be available to the project partners mentioned above.