ampliación equipo trabajo

Patatas Meléndez has enlarged its work team

At Patatas Meléndez, the leading company in the fresh potato sector in Valladolid, we have increased our workforce by almost 100 people since the beginning of the measures against the pandemic in Spain, a very significant figure to which we will add new profiles that we are currently looking for in the areas of quality, maintenance or production.

At the beginning of March, Meléndez employed around 350 people in our factory in Medina del Campo (Valladolid), a number that has increased by 25%, reaching 444 people between our own and temporary workers.

Guaranteeing supply and prioritising attention to the exceptional demand during the shutdown, which even increased threefold in some weeks, have been our objectives over the last few months. A challenge that has even involved tripling shifts, and during which we have not hesitated to employ new workers, thus creating new jobs in the midst of the health crisis.

A local commitment to a national challenge

A commitment to work in the primary sector, to the creation of local employment, and to taking advantage of opportunities arising from demand to implement strategies and resources focused on expanding production capacity, in order to get as many potatoes as possible from the field to the table.

The average age profile of the new recruits is between 25 and 35 years old and they are mainly from Medina del Campo and the surrounding area. The work to be carried out by the new workers will take place both in the factory and in the offices, where they will contribute their full value both in the processing of the potato itself and in taking care of its distribution and increasing its range. To this end, we have made special efforts in the online sale of the product, convenient and safe for consumers, which has been a key element during this health crisis, and for which we have created a special pack of 10 kg of terroir potatoes. In fact, the good acceptance and new consumption habits have led Patatas Meléndez to completely reorientate our online channel.

Safety and precautions in the face of the coronavirus

In Meléndez we have faced up to our responsibility as an essential service with all the occupational safety guarantees against COVID-19 for workers, collaborators in the value chain and end consumers. In this way, we reaffirm our commitment as a company to make basic quality foodstuffs available to everyone with maximum safety.

Some of the measures carried out include taking temperatures with thermometers and thermographic cameras; the compulsory use of protective materials; collective safety measures such as separation screens in places where it is more difficult to respect the minimum distance; and reinforcement of the constant cleaning of common areas.

In addition, security protocols have been complied with for both access and shift change. Teleconferencing and teleworking have been promoted, and in relation to people outside the company, at Meléndez we have developed specific protocols for controlling truck drivers, access to contractors and visits, restricted to those strictly necessary.

In the words of Javier Meléndez, CEO of the company, “since March we have been living in new, turbulent times, in which it has been essential to react quickly. Demand skyrocketed and we did not let up in our efforts to meet it as efficiently as possible. To do so, we have had to transform processes, our work teams and, logically, expand them.

Everything points to the fact that some of the consumption habits observed in the confinement are here to stay. That is why our increase in the workforce has a stable vocation. At Patatas Meléndez we are working harder and better to respond to the new role of the potato in households. We are proud to create jobs from this back-to-source perspective. The really important things have come to the fore with this situation, and it is a source of pride and immense joy to be able to create new jobs and that the professionalisation of the work of staple foods can change the lives of many people”.

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