AIMS pushes back against workplace canteen closures
The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) head of policy, Norman Bagley, has appealed to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, asking for workplace canteens in the food industry to remain open.
Government instructions say that outlets such as food service operations within factories and food processing plants should close due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however a number of industry bodies, including the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) say they should remain open.
In the letter addressed to the chancellor, AIMS’ Bagley says: “Today, I have written to AIMS’s constituency MP, Rishi Sunak, asking him to make urgent representations to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, in relation to workplace canteen facilities for key workers involved in the food production industry.
“It is our view, at this time of a national emergency, that work place canteens within food production facilities must be allowed to remain open…”
“Under the Public Health England, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020, all workplace canteens must now close. There are exemptions to canteens in hospitals, care homes, schools, and other locations such as at prisons and armed forces bases. However, food production facilities who’s staff have been designated as key workers, are now finding that their workplace canteens have been closed.”
“It is our view, at this time of a national emergency, that work place canteens within food production facilities must be allowed to remain open and to serve the incredibly hard working staff who are producing the food to keep our country fed. We are asking Mr Hancock to act immediately to add a provision to the regulations to ensure that this happen.”