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Foodservice industry projects $24 billion loss due to COVID-19

March 23, 2020
Distributors seek financial relief to maintain viability during global pandemic

The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) projects the industry will lose $24 billion over the next three months as the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down restaurants, schools and hotels.

In response, Mark Allen, IFDA’s president and CEO, issued this statement:

“Our projections show foodservice distributors will lose $24 billion over the next three months as restaurants, schools and hotels close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Right now, we have heard reports from distributors that business has declined up to 50%. “That’s why we need Congress to act now, and provide the foodservice distribution industry with federally backed loans as part of its relief packages so we can remain viable. These are not businesses the size and scope of the airlines, but are family-owned businesses that have sustained wars, recessions and other challenges but who say two weeks of this is all it will take to have a significant impact on their business.”

In an effort to lessen the financial impacts of COVID-19, IFDA and FMI-Food Industry Association launched a match-making partnership that connects foodservice distributors with excess capacity (products and transportation and warehouse capacity) to assist food retailers and wholesalers that require additional resources to fulfill needs at grocery stores, which are experiencing skyrocketing demand.

IFDA also sent a letter to President Trump, urging him to work with Congress to develop policy to relieve the current capital crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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