Despite the original decision to stay operational, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Ilford to close down its factory after all. In the most recent statement, the company writes that the production will be temporarily ceased “until further notice,” starting today.
“We stated last week that our principle concern remains the health and safety of our employees and this is still the case,” Ilford writes. “We are also looking at how we can protect the business through this difficult time.” Although the current pandemic has affected the economy, it affects human lives and health above all. And Ilford has decided to protect them first:
“While the UK government advice indicates that manufacturing businesses can still operate, with the country in lockdown we feel now is the time to act in order to protect our employees and our National Health Service (NHS) by minimising the spread of the virus.”
So, what does this mean for you who still enjoy shooting and developing film? After all, creative projects are what helps most of us survive self-isolation. Well, Ilford will be shipping its products from the stock in case you want to stockpile some rolls. Here’s what you can expect:
Our warehouse will remain open (for as long as possible) in order to despatch products to distributors, online retailers and direct to customers via ilfordphoto.com (UK & USA only). Please be assured that social distancing measures are being adhered to and personal protective equipment is in use.
Over recent weeks, in anticipation of this, we increased manufacture of our most popular products, so our warehouse is well stocked in order to meet demand.
Where possible we have moved other essential staff to working from home, so we are still able to service the market to the best of our ability.
Last but not least, what does this mean for Ilford? The company notes that this decision simply means taking the necessary short-term measures “to safeguard the long-term future of our business and our most valuable assets, our employees.”
“Most of our employees have been ‘furloughed’ under a UK government job retention scheme and are all eager to pick up where they off as quickly and efficiently as possible. At that point the world may still be facing economic challenges and further uncertainly but with your continued support and passion we are determined to come back stronger than ever.”
I sure hope that Ilford and its entire team will pick up where they left off. I’m sure we’ll all be struggling at first, but I hope that it will get back to normal after a while.