Princes foods to donate 500,000 products during coronavirus outbreak

The Princes site at Mount Pleasant Road in Wisbech, Cambs. Image: Google Street View

The Princes site at Mount Pleasant Road in Wisbech, Cambs. Image: Google Street View - Credit: Google Street View

An international food and drink group which has factory sites in Wisbech and Long Sutton will donate at least 500,000 products to communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Princes has teamed up with the NHS, food banks and other charities around the world to ensure supplies of food and water reach those most affected by the outbreak.

More than 250,000 products - ranging from canned fish and soups to pasta and sauces - have been donated so far.

Princes will also provide more than 250,000 bottles of water to the five new Nightingale hospitals in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff.

David McDiarmid, corporate relations director, said: “The COVID-19 virus has seen an unparalleled call on our industry to step up and meet demand from consumers who need both the reassurance and nutrition of a steady supply of food and drink.

“Princes is conscious of the needs of a wide range of stakeholders during this time, and while we want help everyone we have to prioritise and allocate our resources to ensure we reach the most critical stakeholders and use our influence in the most sensible and practical way that we can.”

As well as the UK, Princes has also donated to organisations in Italy and Mauritius where it also has factories.

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The company’s 2019/20 annual report says it produces 1 billion cans of branded and customer own brand food a year.

Its range includes over 200 food and drink products such as fish, meat, fruit, sandwich fillings and fruit juices. The Long Sutton site is its largest food production site in the UK.

Mr McDiarmid added: “Our top priority is of course our duty of care to our employees.

“They are making herculean efforts day after day, and without a full and healthy workforce, we won’t be in a position to supply our products to customers, charities or the NHS.

“They will always be our primary concern.”

Princes say social distancing measures have been implemented and non-essential employees are working from home.

The company also shares products between sites to ensure those working shift patterns are able to take a variety of Princes products home rather than needing to visit a supermarket.