Coronavirus: Job losses fear at Oliver Kay Produce

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Oliver Kay has revealed it is to restructure operations
Oliver Kay has revealed it is to restructure operations

Related tags: coronavirus

One of foodservice supplier Bidfresh’s produce businesses, Oliver Kay, has revealed that it is to restructure its operations, moving out of Bolton in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company would not be drawn on how many employees this would affect. However, part of the restructure plan will see Oliver Kay relocate from its previous premises in Bolton to a new home in larger premises in Bradford.

Oliver Kay Produce, which distributes fresh fruit and vegetables to the hospitality sector, has said Covid-19 has had a “devastating impact”. 

Ian Stuart, managing director of produce at Bidfresh, said the firm was currently undertaking a number of structural and operational changes within its business. 

Future of the company

“This will not only secure the future of the company, but also enable it to remain agile and adapt to customers’ changing needs during these uncertain times,” ​he said.  

The new Bradford site will become a new northern hub, known as Oliver Kay Bradford. Stuart said this would cement its position as the fresh produce specialist for the wider Bidfood parent group.

“While we are unable to sustain our team at its current size, we are working hard to do our utmost to support those affected. To this end, we will be consulting with elected employee representatives to look at ways of avoiding, mitigating and reducing the impact of these changes,”​ he said.  

Covid-19

“No one could have anticipated the impact Covid-19 would have on our business and, while this is a difficult time, we take the future of our employees very seriously and are committed to supporting those affected as best we can.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Bidfresh launched direct-to-consumer deliveries​ from its depots. 

Oliver Kay is the latest company to reveal the impact of Covid-19 on its business.

Scunthorpe-based TSC Foods​ is to axe up to 200 jobs as a result of pressures stemming from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Meanwhile, prepared meals food manufacturer Bakkavor has revealed that 500 jobs ​could be under threat at its salad factory in Spalding, Lincolnshire. 

Related topics: COVID-19

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