Midcounties Co-op has signed a new contract with a family butcher which has been in business for 225 years but was facing collapse in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Oxford-based Aldens was established in 1793 and is now run by the seventh generation of the Alden family. The business supplied universities, restaurants, hotels and pubs, and at the start of the year had secured a four-year contract to supply the Houses of Parliament.
However, following the announcement that all leisure and hospitality businesses, as well as schools and colleges, were to close under emergency measures to tackle Covid-19, Aldens saw an 85% reduction in orders.
In response, Midcounties entered a contract with Aldens to supply lamb, pork and chicken across all the Midcounties stores in the Cotswolds area from Monday 30t March, ensuring that the business can continue to operate.
Midcounties CEO Phil Ponsonby said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with Aldens to supply the finest quality produce to our stores across the Cotswolds. he deal will help to supplement our existing supplies and ensure that we are able to continue to meet the significantly increased demand we’re seeing from customers across the region.
“We’re particularly pleased to be able to support a local business with such an outstanding heritage. Since the coronavirus outbreak began, we’ve increased the number oflocal suppliers we work with and are now partnered with over 200 local businesses. This is partly to enable us to offer additional types of product and ensure the availability of some key lines to complement our normal ranges, but is also about supporting the communities in which we operate by doing what we can to support local businesses during these unprecedented times.”
Matthew Alden, managing director at Aldens, said:“We are delighted to be working with Co-op Midcounties. Together we will work very hard in bringing a great selection of produce to their customers in these challenging times.”