SCOTS FOOD SECTOR CALLS FOR ‘KEY WORKER’ STATUS
Scots food sector calls for ‘key worker’ status. Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland has written to Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Tourism. The letter urges the Scottish Government to define food and drink supply chain and manufacturing workers as ‘key workers’ for the purpose of prioritising available school and childcare places.
Many production and technical roles within the food and drink supply chain rely on specific skills – workers cannot be easily moved either for reasons of geography or ability. It is essential to the Critical National Infrastructure and our ability to feed the nation that the Scottish Government supports the supply chain by defining food and drink supply chain workers as ‘key workers’ to ensure access to childcare provision.
FDF, which represents food and drink manufacturers across the UK, published a survey this week, exploring business impacts of Coronavirus with its members, eight out of ten respondents stated that workforce shortages is seen as the primary concern for businesses of all sizes, citing panic buying as a prominent factor in addition.
It was also revealed that a third of respondents said that production uplift of 11 – 25% would be unviable and only 17% would face no issues in meeting the demand.
With the decisions taken to close many schools food and drink manufacturers will be deeply concerned about how they will maintain essential production in the coming weeks and protect their staff.
- FDF surveyed 81 respondents across the UK, representing both SMEs and larger companies
- 34% of respondents have Scottish factories
- The survey ran from Thursday 19 March and Monday 23 March, inclusive