2020 in review and the opportunities ahead

Every year is unique, but 2020 really has been in a league of its own! Who could have guessed this time last year, what the next 12 months would have had in store for us all?

I’ve said it in previous posts written during the pandemic, how proud I have been to work in the food industry. As a sector, it has shown adaptability, agility, empathy and integrity throughout. From retail assistants, to those working all hours in factories, farmers, delivery drivers and support agencies such M&E engineers like ourselves. Everyone has played a huge part in keeping stores well stocked, continuation of production and providing a sense of calm and reassurance the public needed in such uncertain times.

Our own approach here at FESS, and for myself personally has been to keep going through all the challenges and insecurities. As a business providing essential mechanical and electrical services to the food industry, we did not furlough staff and kept providing assistance to our clients throughout.

We have been fortunate that the business has continued to grow and develop as we responded to the increasing demand on the sector. With some manufacturers preparing for an uncertain future posed by Covid and Brexit they increased efforts to stockpile produce and bring forward some planned activity which we were able to support and implement.

We also increased our service portfolio to provide machinery maintenance and hire, construction works and health and safety support to the food and drink sector.

One important aim this year was to build some key relationships with suppliers and partner organisations. SF Engineering and Van Hessen are just two of the organisations we’ve had the pleasure of working with on multiple successful projects across the south and north of England for meat processors and ready meal manufacturers, alongside leading bakeries including Warburtons and Morrisons Rathbones . We are really looking forward to developing our relationships further and continue to save time and money for our clients in the food and drink industry. We also became members of the Food and Drink Forum who support growing food and drink manufacturers across the UK and we are excited to develop that relationship in the new year and providing support and expertise to their fellow members.

There have been a number of changes in processes and protocols in the food sector in response to the pandemic. Even as the virus is taken under control, some of these will continue, with best practices adopted across the board especially in relation to logistics and health and safety. The industry will use these lessons and opportunities from the last 12 months to build an even stronger sector the country can continue to be proud of.

If you’d like to discuss how we can support your growing food and drink manufacturing business next year, or if you are an engineering, construction or manufacturing company working in the food industry, do get in touch. We’d love to discuss how we can make 2021 a year to remember for all the right reasons!

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