SCOTTISH Bakers, the industry association that supports bakers throughout Scotland, notes the sector has been hard hit despite its vital role in preparing fresh bread and bakery products daily.
The sector employs 12,000 across Scotland, though 80 per cent of members have furloughed staff with a significant proportion of the sector currently not trading. Research indicates around a third of all bakery shops and all bakery cafes are now closed across 300 businesses, Scotland-wide.
Many more bakers fear they will be unable to continue trading or remain viable for much longer despite access to government support.
Nonetheless, many bakery businesses have responded positively to the challenge of continuing to meet their customers and communities needs during the lockdown by launching innovative online and delivery services which meet social distancing requirements.
However, they look forward to a time when retail premises and cafes can be fully re-opened while accepting this can only happen once transmission rates have adequately declined and as part of the evidence-based and phased approach advocated by the Scottish Government.
The safety of staff and customers is paramount in a sector which already prides itself on the highest standards of health and safety. So, Scottish Bakers supports the Scottish Government’s emphasis throughout on maintaining social distancing, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces like shops and maintaining safe working practices.
Scottish Bakers will actively support the Scottish Government in its phased approach to amend the current lockdown advice by working with its members companies to devise and implement the best possible practices that protect staff and customers in preparation for changed circumstances.
Chief executive, Alasdair Smith, said: “Scottish Bakers welcomes the initiation of an open and transparent conversation by the Scottish Government over the reopening of business and society in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Scottish Bakers welcomes the clearly-structured and phased approach advocated and commits to work with the Scottish Government to design new measures that enable businesses to safely reopen while protecting the health and safety of customers and staff and to ensure the future economic viability of the sector.”
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