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A reflection on unusual times 18/03/2020, Health & Lifestyle

It is a time quite unlike any other in my living memory. Events appear to have crept slowly up on us and then, in the past few days, exploded into our immediate reality. Bad news we have become accustomed to being reported far away from home has suddenly landed squarely on our own doorstep. It is real. It is worrying. It is sad and for some it will be tragic. The level of loss of life and livelihoods in our immediate locality is not something most of us will ever have previously experienced.

I have realised it is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on what’s important for us as individuals, as a family and as a more extended network of friends and colleagues. I’m coming to terms with there being a spectrum, a scale of severity associated with the Covid-19 crisis. There are those of us who will be inconvenienced, we may or may not catch the virus and may experience little or no symptoms. Then there are those of us who are vulnerable. The vulnerable can take many forms. Those who have a higher relative risk of serious illness or death than others if they catch the virus. Those whose livelihoods are at risk. Those who feel anxious about the possibility of social exclusion and isolation. Those who live alone are going to be more impacted by the latter than those of us fortunate enough to live in family groups.

What are the responsible actions we need to take? Yes, we need to limit our contact with others in order to prevent the spread of the virus to those at higher risk of suffering serious symptoms associated with the virus. Yet, we all need to act to ensure those in our extended network of friends and colleagues who are feeling more vulnerable are reminded of the community to which they belong and are constantly cared for and thought about by others.

Digital has a big part to play at this time. No matter what the app, if it helps somebody feel more connected, I think it’s a good time to be contacting them on it. It’s why I’m determined to do all I can to keep fresh-range.com open in the coming weeks and months for our home delivery customers. We’re going to be stretched financially and operationally to cope with the shift in business we forecast – total elimination of our catering business and significant growth in our retail home delivery business. A small staff of hardworking people that are going to be incredibly stretched at times.

As people adjust to a life spent predominantly at home, fresh-range has an important role to play in bringing new ingredients into people’s homes when they are prevented from enjoying the usual ‘out of home’ activities. When long term social distancing kicks in, we will need alternative sensorial experiences - opportunities to touch different foods, cook new colourful dishes, taste new flavours and smell new smells. It’s a time to be inspired about the sustainability of food, the importance of short supply chains at bringing robust food security, health and joy to our lives. It’s a time to try new positive things and ditch old negative things.

So, as important as my own role supporting my friends and family is, my role at work is to persuade more people to try fresher produce, sourced with care from sustainable producers. It’s a good moment to ditch the mass produced, processed unsustainable foods too many of us have previously relied upon - predominantly for convenience reasons. It’s a time for us to persuade our customers to introduce a friend or family member in need to a box load of fresh sustainable produce and a new recipe to enjoy.

Fresher produce sourced with care. Now available for the whole of mainland England and Wales and large parts of Scotland: www.fresh-range.com

Rich Osborn
Fresh-range founder