The Cold Chain Federation (CCF) has provided an insight into the effects Covid-19 is having on UK cold chain businesses, with businesses reporting a 15% loss of staff due to the virus.

The Federation has reported that current absentee rates are between 10-15% in manufacturing, retail and distribution roles, some due to illness, some due to self-isolation, and some due to other needs such as childcare, and 5% in transport.

The CCF had previously appealed to Government for further clarification on working policies specific to the cold chain industry, such as Government grants for leisure, retail and food service businesses and the ability to rotate furloughed staff, which has since been approved.

The ability to rotate furloughed staff has also been well received by the CFF, as this means that staff still working in cold chain businesses can remove themselves from the workforce to self-isolate and furloughed workers could be brought back into operations after 3 weeks of their furlough has been completed.

It has also detailed how many of its members have been complying to social distancing protocols within their factories, with measures in place such as banning all non-essential visitors on site, regular cleaning of high contact surfaces and reducing the number of people on shifts and packing lines where possible.

The Cold Chain Federation has 150 members and more than 20,000 people in the UK are employed by the cold chain, from warehouse operatives and drivers to systems analysts and robotics engineers.


  • Food Management Today has an exclusive interview Cold Chain Federation chief executive Shane Brennan in its May/June issue.