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Falcon closes factory as safety of employees takes priority – Precision and Victor plants also shut

Falcon factory

Falcon Foodservice Equipment has temporarily closed normal operations at its manufacturing plant in line with the latest government guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Managing director Peter McAllister called it a “very difficult decision” but said the health and safety of its employees was of paramount importance.

The factory, in Stirling, Scotland, produces a wide range of cooking equipment and suites for caterers, restaurants and public sector customers.

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Mr McAllister said there would still be some representation at the plant to ensure customers’ needs are met.

“We will maintain a small and highly flexible team to support the UK foodservice supply chain during this critical period,” he explained.

“We have a wide range of products available in multiple locations to ensure that we are still able to meet any request for vital equipment, spares and service during these extremely challenging and unprecedented times.”

It is likely that more catering equipment plants will shut in the coming days.

Yesterday Precision Refrigeration said it was reducing its manufacturing capabilities to just 5% of what they usually are until the coronavirus situation changes.

This morning, Victor Manufacturing, which employs 120 staff in Bradford, confirmed it closed its three Yorkshire manufacturing sites at close of business last night.

Mr McAllister continued: “We also want to assure [customers] that we are taking every possible step at Falcon to help in the efforts to contain COVID-19 while balancing the essential need to supply some of our key industries. We have implemented the most stringent precautions to ensure those at Falcon will be protected.”

Falcon operates one of the most advanced catering equipment factories in the UK. The business has made £2m worth of investment in its metal shop in the last five years and made improvements to its metal fabrication area.

“We are very proud to be a British manufacturing organisation,” Mr McAllister told FEJ last year. “We do not buy sub-assemblies from round the world and then assemble them in the UK and say they are manufactured in Britain. We take sheets of metal and we fabricate them into the products that we need.

“I am not saying we don’t buy any of our products out of the UK because a lot of the big suppliers for burners, as an example, are not in the UK. But we manufacture a significant amount of components ourselves — that gives us the right reliability, the right quality and actually it gives us a really effective cost base because the investments that we have put in allow us to be cost-effective.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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