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July 7, 2021

Covid-19 closes Whitby Seafoods’ scampi factory in Northern Ireland

The Kilkeel plant is expected to remain shut until 19 July.

Whitby Seafoods, the UK-based scampi supplier to major supermarkets, has closed a factory in Northern Ireland after scores of workers contracted coronavirus.

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  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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The plant operated by Kilkeel Seafoods in County Down has confirmed 42 cases among staff out of a total employee count of 250 at the site, which peels and prepares scampi tails. Family-run Whitby Seafoods’ Kilkeel Harbour plant was closed on 1 July for deep cleaning and remains shut.

In a statement, Whitby Seafoods, which is headquartered in the seaside town of the same name in North Yorkshire, instructed its staff to take PCR tests from Sunday 4 July through to yesterday as a preventative measure after the 42 positive tests.

The facility was due to close for a staff holiday this month, so the company has decided to keep the plant shut until 19 July.

Whitby Seafoods said it had been “working under strict Covid guidelines, employing stringent use of social distancing and protective equipment. Procedures are being put in place to re-open safely and protect the workforce and other stakeholders.”

The business supplies scampi to Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Asda. The company produces scampi from langoustines caught around the British Isles.

A “small number of staff” who have tested negative for the virus will be on-site during the lockdown at Kilkeel Harbour.

“The staff will be working solely in the office and the prawn intake areas of the site to undertake tail freezing,” the statement read. “This will allow the prawn fishing fleet to continue to land directly to the firm. Supporting the fishing effort has been a priority for the firm though out the pandemic.”

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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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