Cranswick Foods

Local Covid Update

29th October 2020

The Cranswick pork plant in Watton, #MidNorfolk produces 20% of the country’s pork. It is thus a major part of our national food chain.

Ministers at DEFRA and DHSC have decided that the plant should be kept open with a skeleton staff who have tested negative.

Ministers have decided & said today that with 15% testing they want to keep the vital Cranswick pork plant in Watton open, with a skeleton staff of those who have tested negative.

Thank you to Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council for moving so fast on local public health & track+trace.

To see the latest EDP article (30 October), please click here

To see my interview on BBC Look East (29 October), click here

To hear my BBC Radio Norfolk interview (30 October), click here

Cranswick Foods

27th October 2020

Another Covid outbreak has occurred in the Mid Norfolk food processing sector – this time at Cranswick Foods in Watton.

(Exactly as I feared and warned was likely to happen during the Banham Poultry outbreak back I in the summer because of:

  • Slow centralised response of NHS Track and Trace of staff after that Banham Poultry outbreak
  • Lack of staff furlough support
  • Lack of culling compensation for affected companies)

That’s why I am working closely with Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council and Public Health Norfolk’s Gold Command Taskforce to ensure this time that LOCAL agencies are allowed to run the operation in order to:

  • Move FAST to isolate the disease and Track and Trace staff who need to isolate
  • Help avoid lockdown of Watton
  • Get the Cranswick Foods plant back up and running as safely and as fast as possible

We cannot have another unnecessarily long and damaging shutdown – as we had at Banham Poultry in Attleborough.

Rest assured, I am working tirelessly on this issue and will provide further updates soon.

To read my letter to the Secretary of States at DHSC and DEFRA, please click here.