Haribo workers self-isolating as Covid outbreak of 30 cases confirmed at Pontefract factory
Haribo has confirmed an outbreak of 30 Covid cases at its factory in West Yorkshire.
A total of 30 employees at the company's distribution centre and factory in Front Street, Pontefract have tested positive for Covid, the Yorkshire Evening Post understands.
The cases and those they have been in close contact with are self-isolating after testing positive for the virus.
Haribo said strict health and safety measures are in place at the site and insisted the company had gone "above and beyond" Government guidance.
In a statement provided to the Yorkshire Evening Post, a spokesperson for Haribo said: "We can confirm that there is a cluster of cases, with 30 colleagues testing positive for Covid-19 at our Pontefract site.
"Each individual and those that have been in close contact are now self-isolating.
"We continue to work with the Environmental Health Office and Public Health England.
"Both have been notified and have confirmed that the processes, controls, and measures we have in place are more than satisfactory.
"As a business, we continue to go above and beyond the Government's guidance and follow strict internal standards around the health, safety and well-being of our colleagues, which is our top priority."
Earlier this year, the company - which opened the £92m factory and distribution centre in Pontefract in 2015 - confirmed it had entered into a consultation process with staff regarding redundancies.
Pontefract MP Yvette Cooper said the “grim” news had been “even more of a blow” for employees who had kept working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
She said Wakefield Council had already set up a team to support the workforce, but “urgent help” was needed from the Government.
“The country is already in recession - we badly need action from Government to prevent things getting worse,” Ms Cooper said. “That means at HARIBO we need support to help the workforce, to try to save jobs, and to try to prevent any job losses which are happening because of new machinery until after the recession is over.
“I am really worried not just about the job losses at HARIBO, but also about the timing when so many other local jobs are being hit because of the recession. And I have been in touch with GMB trade union who represent HARIBO workers and who are now assessing the proposals to see whether there are alternative ways to save jobs.”
Managing director of HARIBO, Jon Hughes, said it needed to respond to “significant rising costs and the demands of a highly competitive market” in order to protect the long-term future of HARIBO manufacturing in Yorkshire.
He said: "We will provide all the support necessary as we consult with them about the best way to protect the future of HARIBO manufacturing in the UK."