At least 73 of the workers at AS Green & Co, based in Herefordshire, have tested positive for Covid-19, and more are awaiting results. This resulted in some 200 workers at the vegetable farm and packing business -that supplies Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S and Aldi- have been ordered to isolate on the property after an outbreak of coronavirus. The farm specialises in growing broccoli, broad beans and runner beans.
All of the farm’s workforce has been told to isolate in mobile homes used by pickers and packers during harvest season. The group was being treated as an “extended bubble” to reduce the risk of the outbreak spreading outside the farm, an official said.
Food and essential supplies are being provided by Herefordshire council as an emergency measure.
A statement said: “Our staff are our priority, they are hardworking key workers helping us provide food for the country during these unusual times. We contacted Public Health England (PHE) and we are working closely with them and public health at Herefordshire council to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
Public Health England has provided on-site testing facilities and has given workers personal protective equipment to try to contain the outbreak.
On the company’s website, a statement says:
"We confirm that we are working closely with, Public Health England and the Public Health team at Herefordshire Council to support a number of our workers that have tested positive for COVID-19. As a precautionary measure we have arranged for testing of additional key workers including management team members and visitors connected with A S Green and can confirm all results to date outside of our site have been returned with negative results. To date there are 73 positive cases on our site."
"Our work force and local community are our priority at this difficult time and we continue to follow the guidance of the relevant bodies to ensure that the spread of the virus is controlled and our workforce is supported."