A series of articles on the RURAL magazine website giving information on how the food, farming and fisheries sector of the Island’s economy is coping with the problems caused by coronavirus. This post is by EAMON FENLON, managing director of the Jersey Dairy
JERSEY DAIRY and the dairy farmers are following all government advice and using our internal knowledge and experience to minimise risk to the vulnerable members of staff and the risk to not having sufficient staff due to self-isolation. This has resulted in the splitting all the operational teams into two shifts and getting people to work from home where that is feasible.
We are incredibly proud of all the amazing and hard-working people across every area of our business who are ensuring the Island continues to have a daily supply of fresh milk.
Their critical roles across farming, food production, processing and distribution mean they cannot work from home.
We are thankful for their dedication and commitment to working in a spirit of solidarity and co-operation and for playing an outstanding role in confronting this unprecedented challenge and of course we are also thankful to our beautiful Jersey cows for supplying us with their natural, nutritious and delicious milk.
Our local sales into food service will be severely disrupted due to C19 containment measures, restrictions on leisure activity and a block on visitors to the Island (for business and leisure), however our sales into retail have seen a significant increase.
Our export sales of UHT recipe based products to the UK food service market have been severely disrupted due to the containment measures and restrictions on leisure activity, but we are actively looking for markets for the related milk and have some successes.
Our butter sales to M&S in the UK have doubled and we have seen an increase in our sales of butter to Japan.
759 Stores, our customer in Hong Kong, have added six orders for containers of UHT milk to their existing orders of twelve containers over the months April, May and June. Each container contains 20,000 litres of milk.
759 recently sent us free of charge 4,000 facemasks to help us in this challenging time. This kindness shows the strong relationship that the team at Jersey Dairy, led by Bob Jones, has built up with the team at 759 Stores.
We have also commenced selling UHT milk to a customer in Korea, with butter to follow shortly, to a new customer there.
Financially we will take a significant hit as a result of Covid-19 but the fundamentals of this business are strong and we are confident that we are strong enough to get through this crisis with hope for a better future.