New markets stop bangers firm turning to mash

Three weeks after the Coronavirus lockdown outbreak swept away 75 per cent of its business, a Yorkshire food manufacturer has saved itself by creating new links with two major supermarkets.

Thirty five jobs were threatened when the British Premium Sausage Company, who have sites in Bradford and Normanton near Wakefield, lost three quarters of its business virtually over night, but the firm have now secured contracts to supply sausages to more than 220 Asda stores and almost 100 Tesco outlets across Yorkshire and the Midland.

Managing Director Ian Cundell said: “I’m really proud of the initiative we’ve shown and the way the staff and our suppliers have responded.  It’s testimony to the people we have working for us that we’ve been able to do this and, most importantly, it’s saved jobs and saved the business.” 

Prior to the lockdown, the firm made two million sausages a month, plus a million meatballs, burgers and Chorizo sausages with most of their products supplying hotels and restaurants as well as two thirds of the UK’s airports.

Ian continued: “When the Prime Minister made the announcement that all the hotels and restaurants should close, that got rid of 50 per cent of our sales. When the airports shut down as well, that accounted for a further 25 per cent.

“I was preparing for this to happen but I didn’t really want to believe it. I thought we were going tohave to furlough at least half of the staff and I didn’t know whether we’d survive as a business and was quietly panicking,” he added.

The firm has managed to retain some sales by continuing to supply care homes and online retailers but it is the new supermarket business which has hugely boosted the fight for survival with panic-buying leaving the supermarkets crying out for supplies.

“We contacted Asda a week before the lockdown. Usually, being listed by a supermarket takes time but we had supplied them in the past so, within a week we were accepted are now supplying our Yorkshire Cuisine Premium Pork Sausage and our British Premium Sausage Company Cumberland Sausage.”

It was the same story at Tesco which saw a 30 per cent increase in sales as panic-buying and stockpiling gripped the nation and their products are now being stocked in 93 stores across the county.

The company has seen its own online sales increase by 400% and sales from other online butchers and meal-kit providers have also helped along with exports to countries including Hong Kong, Denmark and Malta.  

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