We are encouraged by the slowing trend of COVID-19 infections across Canada, and proud of the success we have had through our collective efforts to slow the spread of the disease. There are promising signs that we will be able to return to some new form of normal, as parts of our Province begins to re-open and disease rates slow.
It has now been three weeks since our last employee case of COVID-19. Although this gives us a sense of optimism, we know that we all must remain careful and diligent in our practices to prevent a resurgence of the disease. As such, we continue to impress upon our employees the constant need to follow all preventive measures carefully, both inside and outside of the workplace, in order to protect their health..
Some of the preventive measures we have put in place in the workplace include the following:
- We have suspended all visitors to our facility outside of those deemed essential to the operation of our business for example, contractors and delivery drivers
- We maintain a strict screening policy, ensuring only healthy people enter our workplace
- We require all employees and essential visitors to wear masks at all times in all areas of our facilities
- We have added temporary lunchroom spaces and equipped all common spaces with multiple, portable hand-washing and sanitization stations
- We have imposed physical distancing measures in our common spaces including the installation of Plexiglas shields in between adjacent seating areas in our cafeteria
- We have equipped all of our production employees with personal protective equipment over and above that which may be required in the course of their usual duties, including masks, face shields, aprons, and gloves
- We have staggered our production shifts for better physical distancing
- We have implemented precautionary and frequent deep cleaning initiatives and added ongoing cleaning rotations for frequently used areas/surfaces to our already rigorous sanitation procedures
- We communicate openly and frequently with our employees through bulletins, letters and tv monitors in common spaces to keep them informed and provide them information on handwashing and other hygiene measures, as well as tips on how to stay safe outside of the workplace
- We meet weekly with our onsite CFIA management team to share information and establish collaborative efforts to keep all of our employees safe
- We have worked together with the rest of our industry to share knowledge and develop best practices, and have consulted with health experts and regulators to ensure that we are doing the best possible job in combating the spread of this disease.
Although we are confident in the preventive measures we have put in place, we remain focused on continuous improvement, updating our policies, procedures and preventive measures, as the situation evolves and restrictions are lifted, in order to keep our employees, communities, suppliers and customers safe, and our business running.
While maintaining our emphasis on prevention, over the coming weeks we will slowly shift our focus to recovery and further contemplate how our business will function in this new world order. As with all societies, governments, businesses and individuals, our new reality will take form over the coming months and we will seek new ways to not only survive but thrive.
This past week, we conducted our first virtual employee townhall meeting; a meeting that has traditionally taken place in person on a quarterly basis. Efforts such as this will be critical to keeping our employees engaged and productive, particularly as many are still working remotely and will remain so into the foreseeable future. In addition to getting used to new ways of working, we are taking the time to assess our emergency response and use this knowledge to improve those aspects of our business which need improvement so in the end, we come out stronger.
Our optimism, however, does not overshadow the fact that many in our community have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic and are struggling with food insecurity. Through our partnerships with Food Bank networks, and special initiatives such as the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment efforts to feed frontline workers and those in need, we have donated more than $600,000 of chicken to help address the rising need in our communities. We are truly inspired by the dedication of the agencies and proud to be part of the efforts.
And finally, we have to say it again – we are incredibly thankful to our employees who continue to feed their fellow Canadians. They are truly an inspiration to us.