Mark C Taylor, manufacturing director at Quorn Foods UK

Bdaily Festive Focus 2020: Quorn manufacturing director Mark C Taylor says sectors "coming together is key" in the aftermath of 2020

As our festive focus series continues, Bdaily chatted to Mark C Taylor, manufacturing director at Quorn Foods UK, which has manufacturing headquarters in the North East.

Mark talked to us about feeding the nation through the pandemic and Quron’s expected record sales in January 2021.

How has 2020 changed the way that you live, work, and think?

“The pandemic has transformed the way we all interact. There has been much less face to face socialising and more video communications in its place.

“This has been the same in the workplace, where we have had teams working from home where practical.

“We have demonstrated that activities can still be carried out virtually, it is highly likely that the workplace will not be the same again, and we are seeing permanent changes in the way we all interact.

What has been your single biggest challenge and how have you overcome it?

“It has been essential that we continue to make Quorn & Cauldron products to feed the nation throughout the pandemic.

“My biggest challenge, and absolute priority, has been to keep our colleagues and operating sites safe from the virus.

“We have kept the production lines running in the face of lockdown, shielding, isolating and increased levels of absence.

“So far, we have managed to hit all of our production targets but this has been a huge challenge to each site.

“It has also been paramount to ensure our workforce are not only healthy but happy, amidst uncertain and worrying times.

“We have spent nearly £2m on creating Covid-safe manufacturing sites and our workforce has excelled in their commitment and enthusiasm to keep things running.

“I would like to personally thank everyone involved. The whole team should be really proud of what they have achieved.”

What has been the biggest unexpected positive to come out of this year?

“The reduction in travel has had a major boost on reducing the emissions of CO2 from vehicles, which is great for our planet. “

What does your ideal Christmas look like?

“My ideal Christmas involves lots of family members spending time together with great food and plenty of relaxation.

“Unfortunately, this year will be somewhat reduced, however we will make the most of the situation and be grateful for the celebrations we can have.”

How do you think people and businesses can support each other during 2020’s festive season?

“This has been an extremely challenging year for so many businesses. Fortunately, people always need food so we feel very lucky to be in this sector.

“Other sectors have suffered from significant impacts and losses of revenue through lockdowns and it is key that we support these businesses when restrictions allow.

“I think coming together for mutual support and sharing learnings is key to get through these difficult times.”

What does 2021 look like for you and your business?

“Our sector of meat alternatives continues to grow, at pace.

“We are adding more capacity to keep up with the demand and will be recruiting more people to help us achieve and deliver our 2030 ambition – to provide 8 billion servings of Quorn a year. That’ll be one serving for every person on the planet.

“We expect to see record sales in January, when people go on health kicks and partake in Veganuary, and Quorn Foods will play our part by providing healthy food for people and planet.”

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