Aviko, the Netherlands-based French fries producer, has warned of potential job losses as a result of Covid-19’s impact on the foodservice channel.
The company has asked the Dutch government for a wages subsidy to help it weather the coronavirus storm.
The Steenderen-based potato processor employs 1,100 people in the Netherlands but has seen the foodservice side of its business take a hit from the closure of eating establishments in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Reports in the Dutch media, confirmed by a company spokesperson to just-food, said the letter to the country’s government requested a wages subsidy, suggesting this could be the only way to avoid redundancies.
The Netherlands is operating a wage subsidy scheme – the Emergency Measure Bridging for Employment (NOW) scheme – with companies being reimbursed a maximum of 90% of their wage costs.
However, Aviko is not covered by the NOW scheme because it is a subsidiary of food company Royal Cosun and the scheme only provides wage cost subsidies to parent companies and not to their subsidiaries.
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Aviko has asked for that ruling to be relaxed and said in the letter – sent to Wouter Koolmees, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment – that if it does not receive a wage cost subsidy, it will be “very intense”.
CEO Chris Deen said: “Aviko will then not be able to guarantee its personnel the maintenance of jobs”.
The Aviko spokesperson told just-food that the company has not yet had a response to its letter from the Dutch government.
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.