Coronavirus: 2 Sisters boss urgent appeal

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

2 Sisters CEO Ronald Kers has launched a nationwide recruitment campaign
2 Sisters CEO Ronald Kers has launched a nationwide recruitment campaign

Related tags coronavirus Meat & Seafood

2 Sisters Food Group chief executive Ronald Kers has launched an urgent appeal for new workers to help the manufacturer meet the unprecedented demand brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

The poultry processing giant, which employs more than 20,000 people across the UK, launched its first-ever nationwide recruitment campaign with a video post from Kers on social media at the weekend (see below).

It followed reports of several 2 Sisters’ sites announcing plans to recruit new members of staff during the COVID-19 pandemic​, which has left a number of people – particularly those working in the foodservice sector – out of a job.

Kers said the mass hirings were a move to “literally feed the nation” ​at a time when getting food to people had never been more important.

‘Feed the nation’

“We urgently need people so we can keep delivering a full range of products to supermarkets across the country,”​ said Kers. “We are recruiting now for a wide range of factory and logistics jobs up and down the country. Please join us and help feed the nation.

“We are hopeful that, given the devastating effect this current crisis has had on the leisure and hospitality sectors, we can reach out to these people and persuade them that a career in the food industry can be both fulfilling and enjoyable.”

As coronavirus continues to seriously impact people’s ways of life across the globe, food and drink manufacturers have looked to increase staff numbers to cope with the extra demand placed on their businesses.

Mass recruitment

Days after coronavirus concerns sparked panic buying and hit foodservice suppliers, the food industry united to appeal for jobs and offer services to support the industry and consumers​.

Coronavirus panic-buying prompted dairy processor Müller to launch a significant recruitment drive for up to 300 additional key workers​ amid the demand spike.

The company is recruiting for roles in manufacturing and delivery, including drivers, dairy technicians, factory operators, packaging operatives and mechanics. In addition to the increased demand, the situation has been compounded by worker absences due to self-isolation.

Retailers also announced a wave of recruitment, with Tesco alone hiring 20,000 new members of staff and planning to create more roles in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, environment secretary George Eustice has praised food industry efforts to keep the UK fed​ in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an open letter, he assured businesses he was in regular dialogue with the Government to help safeguard the industry and offer guidance to employers to ensure safe food production amid the crisis.

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