A Message from Our Chair, Judy Bell

Dear Members, Patrons and Supporters of Deliciouslyorkshire,

We find ourselves in unprecedented and the most challenging of times. All businesses will be facing challenges and as a result will be being tested in ways unimaginable even a few short weeks ago.  We are all being forced to plan and respond to the changing environment, review our business models, routes to market and manage our cash flow whilst at the same time ensuring the safety and welfare of our staff and customers are front and centre of what we do. 

As Deliciouslyorkshire we remain focused and determined to support you all as best we can during the coming weeks and months. In discussions with many of you the feedback has been that one of the best ways we can support you is through increased social media activity, sharing  with a wider audience the changes you are making to your businesses and amplifying the messages of ‘support local’.  So, please do share your news with us and tag us on Twitter and Facebook so that we can help with that.  We would also encourage you, if you haven’t done so already, to join our closed Facebook Group – Deliciouslyorkshire Members Forum to ask questions, share information and seek advice from fellow members.

Working with other key stakeholders we will also continue to find ways to help identify new opportunities for businesses to connect and work collaboratively and provide a platform to for you to promote new offerings that you have devised in order to try and help sustain your revenue. 

We continue with our weekly Yorkshire Post page and are working with them to include more content as necessary.  We will also be working with our colleagues at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society supporting their ‘Farm to Fork’ campaign over the coming weeks and months.

Our website now has a dedicated Coronavirus page where we will place links to relevant resources and websites where you can obtain further information, advice and guidance.  As you can appreciate this is a fast-moving situation so information may change regularly.  We would like to thank our Patron member Garbutt & Elliott who have worked hard to make available expert advice and analysis which we would encourage you to take a look at.

Obviously in the short term our planned networking events are on hold but we will look to re-instate those as soon as it is safe to do so.  If the situation looks like it may be in place for an extended period, and if there is the appetite to do so, we will look to see if we can use technology in some way to help us recreate these.

We have genuinely been blown away by how many of the Deliciouslyorkshire community have adapted and found ways to innovate. Many of our farm shops and independent retailers are offering valuable and essential support to their local communities remaining open with appropriate social distancing measures in place, are working collaboratively with local producers and wholesalers to ensure good supply of stock with click and collect options, home delivery for the most vulnerable and even ‘drive thru’ offerings.  We say ‘bravo’ to you all and hope that in the longer term that this will help shape consumers shopping habits and foster a real understanding of the benefits of buying produce and products that are grown, sourced and made locally.

We have seen producers who may previously have had a large proportion of their business supplying food service test and implement direct to consumer models and increase their online capability.  Some of our distillers have repurposed production to deliver much needed and essential supplies, such as hand sanitiser, to front line workers and many of you have supported your local communities efforts in ensuring that food is not wasted and that nobody goes hungry and the list goes on… Again, we salute you!

We are all doing our absolute best not just to survive, but hopefully also to take the opportunity to take stock of not just what we do but how we do it and we will as a result, hopefully, come out stronger and more resilient.

Please know that Deliciouslyorkshire are here for you – please don’t be afraid to ask for help and support and we will do our best to deliver.  If there is anything that we can do for you to help you through the current challenges, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01423 546200 or by email to team@deliciouslyorkshire.co.uk

Please stay safe, look after yourselves, your colleagues and your loved ones.

Warmest wishes

Judy Bell, MBE

Judy Bell, Chair of Deliciouslyorkshire