Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in the past 12 months. At Abbeydale, our three key aims from the beginning have been to keep people safe, ensure we continue to make food to feed the nation and ensure we have a business which is fit for the future.
Keeping People Safe
In order to ensure people’s safety, we implemented a number of policies which guided both Saxon and Summit in areas of health, hygiene and safety, in line with Government advice. This focused in particular on implementing an extensive set of social distancing initiatives across our manufacturing sites and offices. A number of measures were initiated to keep people safe – such as home working where possible, temperature checking for those who do need to come to our sites, reducing numbers of people in areas to ensure 2m distancing (were practical), one-way areas, rearranged seating to keep people 2m apart, staggered shift starts and breaks, additional cleaning routines, reconfigured workstations and many more site-specific measures.
Our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that the supplies of raw material, packaging & ingredients and supplies of chemical, sanitisers are maintained in a healthy position. Stocks of disposable PPE is also being managed closely to allow continued production and supply in a safe, diligent, and ethical manner.
These remain in place and are constantly being reviewed.
Since the UK Government escalated lockdown measures to combat the pandemic on 24th March and latterly local restrictions, consumer demand and shopper behaviours have changed rapidly. Orders from our food service customers declined significantly while our grocery retail and convenience channels grew. We have been hugely impressed by our team’s willingness to adapt quickly to the day to day challenges that COVID brings. A testament to this is our absenteeism levels, which have stayed at the same level as seen pre-Covid. This has meant that as a business we have continued to supply all our customers during the pandemic.
Being fit for the future
The group has taking prudent measures to protect profitability and cash flow. Saxon has been adversely effected by the reduction in sales in the foodservice channel which has led to a reduction in production which in turn has meant that since March 2020 a number of the workforce have been furloughed using the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The picture at Summit is somewhat different with sales increasing and production up, the team have been fully employed.
Abbeydale will continue to focus on delivering our customer demand while focussing on balance sheet strength and cash.
We remain incredibly proud of everything our colleagues are doing in times of such adversity.