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As Foodservice Demand Plummets, McCain to Furlough Workers in UK

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The prohibition of on-premise dining in restaurants, pubs and other foodservice outlets in the United Kingdom ordered by the Government in an attempt to mitigate the deadly coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has greatly depressed demand for frozen potato products. So much so, that McCain Foods has been forced to cut output of french fries and other items at its production plant in Whittlesey.

“While we continue to see strong sales of our products in supermarkets and retailer stores across the country, as a result of the shutting down of the hospitality sector, total demand has been significantly reduced,” said the company in a recent statement. “In response to this, we will be temporarily scaling back production to match reduced demand and will be furloughing some employees as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”

The number of persons to be idled was not revealed.

Assuring that all furloughed workers will maintain their existing salaries and that these temporary measures are intended to preserve jobs and ensure a sustainable business in the long term, McCain added: “We remain committed to all our employees and ongoing operations in the UK and, when customer demand dictates that full production resumes, we look forward to welcoming our employees back.”

The statement concluded: “Health and safety of employees will remain our number one priority, and additional measures are in place across all sites in line with government guidance.”

Meanwhile, McCain Foods confirmed last month that 230 jobs would be eliminated at its subsidiary PAS Grantham Easton factory on May 1. Production will continue at the site with approximately 150 workers on the job, said a company spokesman on March 11.