A Midlands food company has launched a humanitarian effort to collect and ship 50 truckloads of food to families in Ukraine.
Oakland International hopes to start sending donations from UK suppliers to the Polish-Ukrainian border – and possibly even across the border if it is secure enough – as early as tomorrow (March 3).
Management have been in contact with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the British Red Cross and various EU embassies to find out the best way to get fresh, frozen, canned and packaged food across the Europe.
The company uses its three hubs in Leicestershire, Redditch and Corby to process shipments as well as the hubs used by partner companies.
Dean Attwell, Oakland International Group Co-Founder and CEO: “Today we appealed for support from the UK and Irish food sector to help our European friends who have been so hard hit by the invasion of Ukraine.
“Oakland is prepared to fund up to 50 trucks and drivers to transport essential food products (chilled, frozen and ambient) to Poland’s eastern border and possibly Ukraine if we can get through.
“We are involved in an industry that is notorious for reacting quickly and achieving impossible goals – I hope we can all publicize this request for support and come together to get all 50 trucks shipped between Wednesday and Friday this week.
“If you are able to support full pallet or full truckload offers of food, please email [email protected]
“Our own fleet and network of partners in the UK and Ireland can connect for full collections or give you the choice of 10 consolidation centers which we will use to build full truckloads.
“We will ensure that stock gets to where it is needed and we are in contact with embassies and the Red Cross to help guide us on the most needed products.”
An Oakland spokeswoman said the response to the call has been long with companies offering supplies as well as refrigerated trailer loans, logistics support, customs assistance and truck driving assistance.
The family business specializes in contract food packaging, storage, picking and distribution, as well as brand development.
It works with customers who ship fresh, chilled and frozen food to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and foodservice markets in the UK, Ireland and through a partner in Spain.
Two years ago he invested £4m last year in fitting out a 225,000sqft unit in Bardon, near Coalville in north-west Leicestershire, with storage capacity and moving 24,000 pallets.
The British Red Cross has appealed for financial donations to help Ukrainian families access clean water, food, first aid, medicine, warm clothing and shelter.
People can donate to this appeal by calling 0300 023 0820.