Bakkavor has announced cuts including furloughing some staff “wherever possible” due to a “reduction in orders across all categories”.
The firm, which has a base in West Marsh Road, Spalding, says the current uncertainty over the COVID-19 situation is the reason for the measures being introduced.
In a statement released this morning, the company said: “We are reviewing capacity across our facilities to better match the current levels of demand and, wherever possible, we will be supporting any impacted colleagues by making use of the Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) introduced by the Government in the UK.”
It also states a proposed “final dividend” has been postponed, all non-essential capital investments and discretionary expenditure have been put on hold.
A spokesman said: “While uncertainty related to COVID-19 remains, we will continue to prioritise our employees in their roles as key workers and support our customers in every way we can to ensure the continued supply of fresh prepared food.
“Looking further ahead, we remain confident that the strength of our business and strategy leaves us well positioned to achieve long-term sustainable growth within the attractive FPF sector.”
The statement also says Bakkavor founders CEO, Agust Gudmundsson and Non-executive Director, Lydur Gudmundsson) have volunteered not to take a salary in the period and there’s reductions in salaries for directors and the management board.
The company has a workforce of 20,000 in 45 countries but says that 90 per cent of its earnings are in the UK.
This morning’s statement also included a section on the health and safety of the workforce: “We are extremely proud of our colleagues’ effort, commitment and determination during this difficult period and, understandably, make their health, safety and wellbeing our foremost priority.
“As a large FPF manufacturer, our established controls for managing both people and food safety within our operations are industry-leading. They provide a very strong base to build our COVID-19 controls on.
“While our regular handwashing procedures and high levels of good manufacturing practice (GMP) and hygiene ensure a safe working environment, we have also implemented a number of additional controls.
“In the UK, these include restricted visitor access, a more rigorous return to work procedure, more frequent cleaning regimes at touchpoints and additional handwashing protocols.
“All our colleagues are self-certified as fit to work, and we are adhering to PHE guidelines for social distancing in our offices, rest, changing and ancillary areas, as well as following the specific PHE guidance for distancing in food manufacturing businesses.
“We continue to audit ourselves against both our standard controls as well as our enhanced COVID-19 protocols on both an announced and unannounced basis.”