COVID-19 business continuity update | Leatherhead Food Research

COVID-19 business continuity update

18 March, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve we wanted to update and reassure you of the measures we are taking to ensure safety and business continuity.  At Leatherhead (and across Science Group plc) we have been closely monitoring the situation and have acted swiftly to implement the measures necessary to safeguard the health and safety of all our employees and to provide continuity to our clients.

We believe that communication is vital during periods such as this and given that meetings will be difficult during these months, as we all adapt to a “new normal”, please do get in touch by phone (+44 1372 376 761) or email. Some useful contact points include:

Commercial Director: Mark Butcher

Operations Director: Cindy Beeren  


Regulatory: Luke Murphy

Consumer Science: Emma Gubisch

Cooking Instructions: Natasha Mays

Analytical Science: Louise Grinyer

Membership: Jenny Arthur

Thankfully, during such a volatile and uncertain time, we are benefitting from the experience of a sister company with manufacturing operations in Shenzhen, China.  This has allowed us to plan and respond to the potential challenges of a wider COVID-19 outbreak earlier than we perhaps would have done otherwise.  It is reassuringly worth noting that operations in Shenzhen are now back to 70% of full capacity with constraints mainly due to supply chain factors.

For those in the process of planning or involved with project work with us, some of our intervention measures are outlined below:

  • prioritising (and where possible accelerating) client project work whilst deprioritising internal projects;
  • emphasising social distancing in our workplace environments, utilising all space in our facilities to increase the physical distances between our employees whilst still offering a place of work for employees to engage with others and deliver practical projects;
  • minimising travel to almost zero: ceasing all non-essential travel between Science Group facilities and/or to client sites, in line with most of our clients’ policies;
  • investing in upgrading and extending video-conferencing facilities so that we can continue to interact with clients “face to face”;
  • facilitating home working, where appropriate and as necessary, with the majority of our engineers and scientists set up with VPN capability thereby ensuring a secure connection to our core infrastructure and access to shared project resources;
  • reinforcing and proactively managing client project teams, with every large project having contingency plans to ensure we maintain project momentum in the event of unforeseen absences; and
  • ensuring confidentiality and adherence to our Quality Management System in all of our procedures.


Whilst these are unprecedented and challenging times, we are confident that the plans we have put in place and the steps already taken, will ensure that we have maximum resource availability to deliver our clients’ project work and employee safety. Like each of your businesses, we are a forward-looking organisation and our objective is to assist our clients to be competitively positioned for the post-COVID-19 world.

Take care and please get in touch at any time if you think we can help.

About Science Group

Science Group offers independent advisory and leading-edge product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. Its specialist companies Sagentia Innovation, Leatherhead Food Research, TSG Consulting and Frontier Smart Technologies collaborate closely with their clients in key vertical markets to deliver clear returns on technology and R&D investments.