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5 Pressing Challenges Facing Today’s Food Suppliers in The Age of COVID-19

The ongoing threat and  impact of COVID-19 has made the UK’s food supply chain vulnerable.


Since March 2020, the nation - like most of the world - has drifted in and out of isolation. Early spates of consumer panic buying, coupled with increased and changed demands for food due to more time being spent at home, placed a significant pressure on the UK’s supply chain.


While the food supply industry remains buoyant, the onslaught of the virus presents a raft of ongoing challenges for suppliers at every stage of the food supply chain.


To provide clarity and present viable solutions, here we look at the five most pressing challenges for the food supply chain in the age of COVID-19.


1. Reduced productivity

Your personnel are the beating heart of your business - they are the people that keep the wheels turning.


According to government data, food processing facilities have been responsible for several localised COVID-19 outbreaks.


Even with a vaccine program in progress, many employees will have to self-isolate and remain off work for some time to come - particularly as the virus is likely to become a threat again next winter.


With the virus ever-present, some food supply facilities have seen up to a 30% reduction in staff availability, driving down productivity levels as a result. This is a problem that isn’t going away any time soon.

2. Penalties for failing to meet obligations

As a direct offshoot of continual personnel management and productivity issues, strained food suppliers are still struggling to meet particular standards and obligations.


A failure to adhere to general food laws, meet quotas, and remain compliant with stringent food safety standards are becoming all too real for food suppliers across the board.


Dips in operational productivity coupled with a wider range of focus (keeping staff safe and putting COVID complaint processes in place, for instance) mean that keeping on top of obligations is an uphill struggle - one that can prove costly.

3 Safety breaches & compromises

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a consistent wave of food supply-based COVID-19 outbreaks in the UK and Ireland.


Managing the workforce and keeping staff as well as partners safe in the face of the virus is a colossal task. There is a wealth of stringent rules and processes to consider at all times - initiatives that are made increasingly difficult due to the constant concern of an outbreak.


If a food supply organisation is deemed to have compromised safety due to non-compliance (or even a simple mistake), costly claims will be raised, productivity will grind to a halt, and the entire operation fails.

4. Employee distrust or disengagement

With so many aspects to consider and staff to look after across the organisation, poor personnel management or inadequate staff safety measures are likely to result in employee distrust or disengagement.


If your staff don’t feel safe, they won’t feel valued and cracks will quickly form. Building a sense of trust is essential in these challenging times - and as such, food suppliers are under increased pressure to demonstrate a transparent commitment to staff safety - not just now, but for the foreseeable future.

5. Reputational damage

Finally, all of these issues combined can have a seriously negative impact on your brand or business reputation.


Staff mutiny, poor productivity levels, and safety breaches can all have devastating consequences to brand reputation.


If you suffer negative publicity as a result of mismanagement during the pandemic, you are likely to suffer further dips in productivity as well as a hit on your revenue for years after the pandemic is under control.

Catenae’s Covid Operating System: enabling businesses to mitigate the pandemic challenges

Cohesive and transparent personnel management is essential to maintain consistent productivity levels and remain compliant in the age of COVID-19. Catenae’s Covid Operating System provides that solution.


Our App, Intelligent Dashboards and secure platform provide the digital tools to enable businesses to keep productivity levels consistent, protect your brand reputation, and ensure employees are safe and at all times.

Discover how Catenae's cutting-edge Operating System can help keep your business operational, boost employee engagement and give your managers full visibility of COVID impacts, get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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