The Foodservice Equipment Association – which represents more than 200 kitchen suppliers in the UK – said the reopening of the hospitality sector on 4 July was critical to the health of the supply chain.
The FEA has been a vocal campaigner for the government to provide suppliers with access to the same level of support afforded to operators.
Many of its members saw business drop off a cliff when the lockdown was announced in March, leading it to describe market conditions as “catastrophic” for suppliers.
John Whitehouse, chair of FEA, said confirmation that pubs and restaurants could reopen under social distancing guidelines in 10 days’ time provided a “ray of light after a very grim period”.
He said: “The decision underlines the importance of effective collaboration – the trade associations and other bodies who represent the industry have been lobbying the government together, and the strength and passion of their argument have been heard.
“Getting the hospitality industry moving is critical to everyone, none more so than the foodservice equipment supply chain, where sales have dropped by 80% or more.”
Mr Whitehouse stressed that while the reopening of hospitality businesses was roundly welcomed, there was a long road ahead for the market.
“Of course, it’s not over. We still need government support if we are to have a successful industry – and an effective supply chain – at the end of the crisis.”