AN EAST Yorkshire poultry supplier is appealing for staff to help them keep up with demand for its chicken as the Coronavirus crisis deepens.

Soanes Poultry anticipates that it will temporarily lose up to half of its team as a result of Covid-19 self-isolation and is recruiting in all areas of the business to ensure continuity of supply.

Managing director Nigel Upson said: “Independent retailers in our area have done an amazing job of providing fresh produce to our communities when the supermarkets couldn’t.

"We have taken the decision to keep production at full tilt to continue to feed Yorkshire through this network of butchers and farm shops, but we need your help.

"At the peak of this crisis we anticipate that more than 50 per cent of our staff will not be available for work so we need to boost numbers now to maintain throughput.

“We seek some specialist skills like accounts staff, fork lift drivers, lorry drivers and also need a strong contingent of people willing to do whatever it takes including warehouse staff, packing boxes and cleaning the factory overnight.”

Applicants should send an e mail to giving details of what work they normally do and what they are prepared to do.

Everyone will have to agree to a screening for symptoms of illness before being allowed into the building.

Soanes Poultry, in Middleton-on-the-Wolds, is a family-owned business which has been rearing and preparing multi award-winning chicken for 73 years.

The farm-based business, which was founded by Tom Soanes, employs 120 people and is now one of the area's largest employers.

It sells its chicken to butchers and independent retailers in Yorkshire and to wholesalers nationwide.

Nigel took to Twitter earlier this week to say they had seen a rise in demand from customers for chickens at local butchers, farm shops and independent retailers as supermarkets were running low of stock.

This meant they needed more people to keep up with demand, he said.

Soanes Poultry was a finalist in The Press Business Awards 2019 in the Large Business of the Year category which was open to all companies with annual turnover of at least £3 million which can demonstrate outstanding organisation, exceptional financial returns, strong growth and innovation strategies plus market prowess in its sector.