McCain Foods, the Canada-headquartered french fries maker, is cutting production across three UK plants and putting some workers on leave as coronavirus restrictions eat into foodservice demand.

The sites affected are located in Hull, Scarborough and Whittlesey, situated in the north east and east of England. A company spokesperson declined to disclose numbers on the furloughed workers when contacted by just-food but did provide a statement, which said the staff concerned would be leaving temporarily on full salaries.

“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,” McCain said. These temporary measures are to preserve jobs and ensure a sustainable business in the long term. 

“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.”
While McCain is seeing “strong sales” in supermarkets and other retail channels, the government-imposed closure of restaurants, pubs and other foodservice outlets has “significantly reduced” demand for its frozen fries, the spokesperson added.