Food industry specialist Scott McDeivitte from Gordon Food Services recently joined Farm & Food Care for a discussion about how Canada’s food system has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon Food Services is a 126-year old, family-owned food service distributor with annual sales in the range of $20 billion.
“It was catastrophic,” McDeivitte said of the impact of Covid on the food sector in North America last year. “The tap went from running to being turned off almost overnight. We lost 78% of our business.”
McDeivitte went on to explain how his business and his customers—food retailers, restaurants and other food service entities large and small—have had to adapt. Innovations have included everything from greatly reduced menus to restaurants selling packaged products to customers to pop-up stores out of trucks in the parking lot.
While we are still working through all the changes in the food service sector, McDeivitte sees better times ahead for the restaurants who have made it this far. “Pent-up demand for sociability is through the roof. People are clambering to go out,” he said, referring to US jurisdictions where restrictions have been lifted.
McDeivitte’s talk was one of three presentations in the Winter Speaker Series presented by Canadian Food Focus and Farm & Food Care in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
Watch the full presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YvQEmlo3YE
For more information about the Winter Speakers’ Series or to watch a recording of the first two sessions, visit www.farmfoodcareon.org/speakersseries/