Written by Andrew Crook, NFFF President
Things are currently so busy, not only dealing with issues in my own business but I have never known quite so much going on at the NFFF. Every major issue seems to directly affect our industry and it is important that we are there to represent the industry, and the wider takeaway and hospitality sector.
I was contacted last month by Good Morning Britain on ITV as they were doing a feature on the Seaspiracy documentary, I am sure most of you will have heard about it. They wanted me to go live against the person who produced and stared in the film, which made the claim that the only way to have sustainable seafood is not to eat seafood! Having been involved at a high level for a number of years now I have seen the huge strides forward that the entire supply chain has made and I didn’t think the documentary showed a balanced enough picture so I was happy to take part (if not a little daunted!). The crew were due to visit my shop on the Wednesday morning, but news broke the evening before of Charlie Watts passing so it was moved to the Friday. They wanted to shoot some video beforehand of me frying so I set my alarm for 5.30am, to get the range fired up and ready. The crew were due at 7am but as the clock clicked past 7 and beyond, I released we had been dropped again. I got a call from the producer to confirm and apologise.
As I type this I am on a train to London as there are a couple of events I need to attend tomorrow. Whilst frantically ironing a shirt and packing this morning, I took a call from a producer I have spoken to before, when I have been guest co-host on Radio 5 Lives Wake Up To Money. They were discussing wage increases on the Nicky Campbell Breakfast show and wanted a small business perspective. I had to leave for my train at 9.50 and I still needed a shower and to finish packing, but I agreed. I got a facetime call at 9.10 so I was ready to go on and test the line. As I listened to another caller talking about the struggle managing on disability allowance, I could see that it was drifting away from the topic I was on to discuss. After a 40-minute wait on hold I had to set off for my train so I had to hang up, but the producer has invited me back on in the future so hopefully I will get the airtime to discuss the key issues that are affecting us all.
These are just a couple of examples of the work that goes on behind the scenes, which most people probably don’t realise. Not all of what the NFFF does for the industry is visible, and some of what we do has to remain confidential too but that is what the board is elected to do. There is so much currently underway and a few things on the horizon that will require a lot of effort from the NFFF Board to ensure our voice is heard. As things unfold we will keep members updated and rest assured that we will be working hard for the industry on the long journey back to what will be normality.