A sharp drop in demand for food-to-go has prompted Greencore to introduce a string of measures to reduce costs.

The business said it was eliminating all non-essential operating costs and ‘tightening’ its food to go production network, furloughing staff using the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In, addition the board and the executive directors have taken a voluntary 30% cut in fees and salary for three months, with other senior management taking a 20% salary cut.

“Since the UK government’s escalating measures to combat the outbreak, consumer demand and shopper behaviours have changed rapidly,” stated the company.

“There has been a marked reduction in demand for the group’s food-to go-categories in grocery retail, which has been partly offset by the sustained volume growth in the group’s other convenience categories.”

Greencore added it was working with customers and government agencies including the NHS and local communities to provide fresh prepared food to consumers and frontline workers during the pandemic.

It has also carried out a range of precautions and safety measures for staff, focusing on social distancing across its manufacturing and distribution network.

Greencore has suspended financial guidance for the current financial year as a result of uncertainty around the duration and impact of Covid-19, adding that its outlook in the 2019 full year results statement should no longer be considered current.

“While the duration and impact of this pandemic remains uncertain, all of our stakeholders are continuing to work together to protect the business,” it stated.

“The board is ensuring that Greencore remains a purposeful and hugely relevant business, feeding the UK right through this period, and importantly that it is also equipped with the team, strategy, reputation and balance sheet to accelerate forward when the pandemic passes.”