Suppliers respond to COVID-19 challenges (updated 4/23/20)
A rolling list of responses from equipment, ingredient and other technology suppliers on how their companies are reacting to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread around the United States and the world, The National Provisioner and Independent Processor wanted to hear from the supplier community on how they were helping their customers meet the needs of consumers, as well as safety measures and other initiatives they were undertaking. What follows are their responses, alphabetized by company name. As we receive more responses, we will update the article.
What follows are the answers to the following question:
As a partner/supplier to meat and poultry processors, what are you doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help your processor/packer customers get through these challenging times?
Bettcher Industries, Inc.
Meat production in the USA has soared during the coronavirus outbreak, along with corresponding higher demand for Bettcher products. As a partner with processors and committed to ensuring that all orders are processed and shipped without delays, Bettcher has adopted an innovative split-shift “work team” approach to staffing operations, which has reduced the number of people in our facilities by nearly 50%. Thus, we can practice social distancing and good health practices while also suppling customers with the products and parts they need, on time and on schedule.
— Thomas Holm, President, Bettcher Industries, Inc.; Contact: Karin Hamrick, Marketing Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, (800) 321-8763, bettcher.com
Food processing facilities are taking extra precautions to protect their employees during this pandemic and Birko is actively working to supply them with proper sanitizing solutions for staff, equipment and floors. As regular and often hand sanitizing and cleaning practices have proven effective to fight COVID-19 transmission, it is important for the food industry to focus its efforts on sanitation within processing facilities. To help with this fight, Birko has formulated new and powerful handwashing and hand sanitizer solutions, quat-based solutions, and environmental equipment for its partners that meet EPA, FDA, CDC and WHO guidelines for efficacy against COVID-19.
— Mark Swanson, CEO, Birko Corp.: email@example.com, (800) 525-0476, www.birkocorp.com
You can be assured if your circumstances are affected by COVID-19, Eurofins is here to back you up. We are alternating work schedules eliminating shift overlap, augmenting facility hygiene, and intensifying laboratory zoning to simplify social distancing practices. We are excited to provide the following new services to facilitate business continuity for the meat and poultry industries including:
- Environmental Monitoring for SARS-Cov-2 and Remediation Services
- Virtual Auditing, Consulting, Training
Eurofins’ unparalleled laboratory network is purpose-built for high volume and redundancy. We are here, open and available, enabling you to focus on producing safe, quality food for our communities.
— Jessica Coco, product manager, Eurofins Scientific: JessicaCoco@EurofinsUS.com, (515) 240-8148, www.eurofinsus.com/food
Meat processors are providing an essential service to the public. These hard-working individuals need our support during this challenging time. The last thing our customers should be worried about is equipment concerns. Therefore, Hydro-Thermal Corporation is encouraging our processing customers to reach out to us. We are offering a variety of services including onsite or remote calls to answer questions and help with troubleshooting. Many of our heaters and skidded systems are used in temperature critical applications. Therefore, Hydro-Thermal Corporation is offering a wide range of maintenance options to ensure that production is uninterrupted.
— Sean Fulton, vice president of Sales, Hydro-Thermal Corporation: firstname.lastname@example.org, (262) 548-8900, www.hydro-thermal.com
At Intralytix, we are working with a skeleton crew to manufacture product and shipping orders on Monday and Tuesday only to ensure our customers are adequately suppled via ‘just-in-time’ delivery. For safety sake, we've split our workforce into three tiers: (1) People critical to day-to-day operations, (2) People in manufacturing, shipping, etc., (3) People working in our labs on human health projects. Tier 1 employees work at home. Tier 2 are flex-timing and coming in as needed. Following Maryland’s directive, those who can do their jobs without coming into the office are staying home.
— Greg Strang, Director, Food Safety Division, Intralytix, Inc.; email@example.com, (443) 863-6946, www.Intralytix.com
Meyn Food Processing Technology B.V.
During these challenging times, we continue providing full support towards our processing partners. We are taking all measures necessary. Our poultry professionals are working around the clock and are available 24/7 by phone and email. We engage our vendors and business partners in identifying and mitigating possible supply chain issues related to the current and evolving conditions. We closely follow the potential impact on our markets to stay ahead of any significant disruptions. Taking into account the local circumstances and the specific needs the most practical solution will be offered. Together we find a way!
— Joost Weel, Managing Director, Meyn Food Processing Technology B.V.; firstname.lastname@example.org, (678) 865-8600, www.meyn.com
NORD Gear Corporation
COVID-19 has caused disruptions worldwide, and the food processing industry is not excluded from its impact. Currently, our three U.S. facilities in Waunakee, WI, Charlotte, NC, and Corona, CA are fully operational. Their systems are integrated, enabling quick, efficient production rescheduling should one facility be negatively impacted by the virus. NORD Gear Corporation always maintains a significant amount of inventory to allow fast delivery times and our standard stocking levels cover approximately 4 months’ worth of orders. Additionally, NORD’s global supply chain has roughly 3 months of stock on hand and we are actively managing supply channels from our production plants throughout Europe, Asia, and North America to meet demand.
— Torsten Schultz, President, NORD Gear Corporation; email@example.com, (888) 314-6673, www.nord.com
While it is impossible to predict the spread of the coronavirus or fully understand its impact, it does not alter Ossid’s focus on continuing to provide you with what you need. Ossid’s sales, service, and after-market parts teams are still working to give our new and existing customers the support they need. While monitoring the safety and well-being of our employees, we aim to offer our customers the same quality, service, and support the Ossid brand is known for. Ossid’s 24/7 service support and after-hours emergency hotline for parts ordering have been and will continue to be in operation for our customer’s use.
— Jason Angel, vice president, marketing & sales, Ossid LLC; Ossid@ProMachBuilt.com, (toll-free) (800) 334-8369, (after hours) (252) 904-4737, www.ossid.com
Amidst the pandemic turmoil, Prosur stands together with its business partners to assure the constant flow of natural, healthier products to confined consumers all over the world. Our focus is on protecting our people’s health and on securing our supply chain. We have tripled our safety stock to withstand a long period of logistics disruptions and we doubled our food-grade warehouse locations to avoid challenges if the spread of COVID-19 leads to temporary closures. Strict hygiene and social distancing protocols, a travel band and active health monitoring are successfully keeping our production facility disease-free. Together we will beat this!
— Simon Claessens, International Business Director, Prosur Inc.; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.prosurinc.com
Rome Grinding Solutions
For over 40 years, we at Rome Grinding Solutions have always focused on face to face interaction with our customers, specifically in the service and training of our equipment. In this uncertain time where travel restrictions make our traditional style of doing business more difficult, we are focused on assisting our customers by offering updated training videos, as well as developing Augmented Reality training and troubleshooting. Though we currently have our primary sales staff working remotely, our production team continues to operate at 100%. Our most heartfelt thoughts go out to any of our customers might be affected by this recent pandemic, and hope every one of our customers, family and friends stay healthy in this unpredictable time.
— Ryan Van Maasdam, VP of Sales and Business Development, Rome Grinding Solutions; email@example.com, (800) 443-0557, www.romegrindingsolutions.com
Spartan Chemical Company, Inc.
After hearing from respected Industry leaders, these are our suggestions as we navigate through COVID-19.
• Stay the course with your SSOPs
• Stay focused with personal hygiene. Remember to wash and sanitize hands!
• Increase cleaning in common areas
• Set up and maintain social distance 6 feet
• IF an employee tests positive for COVID-19, remove them from the facility. Have them self-isolate and quarantine for 14 days. Track their movements before they were infected because it is necessary to conduct a thorough cleaning.
• Food is NOT a vehicle to transmit coronavirus
• Continue checking CDC and FDA websites for new updates
— Christopher A. Celusta, Director - Food Processing Sanitation, Spartan Chemical Company, Inc.; firstname.lastname@example.org, (800) 537-8990, ext. 211, www.spartanchemical.com/solutions/food-sanitation/#support-materials
As protein manufacturers continue production during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are faced with the challenges of keeping their workforces safe and healthy. Sterilex, a provider of EPA-registered disinfectant products suitable for use in food manufacturing, has an expanded protocol designed to safeguard workers for essential businesses within the food supply chain. Expanded virucidal disinfection in breakrooms, locker rooms and offices can be accomplished by either mopping, wiping or spraying with a mixture of Sterilex Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner and Activator Solution. Non-food contact surfaces do not need rinsing. Complete application recommendations and protocols can be found at sterilex.com/coronavirus.
— Bob Forner, marketing director, Sterilex; email@example.com, (443) 886-0522, sterilex.com/coronavirus
TIPPER TIE, Inc.
TIPPER TIE remains committed to supplying our customers with machines, parts, and clips & loops allowing them to continue production. We have communicated to our suppliers that they are essential and ask that they take all necessary steps to mitigate risk to their own production. Our inventory and ordering patterns have been adjusted to ensure our continued production. Production procedures have been restructured to conform to all social distancing best practices and comply with CDC guidelines. Access has been limited to our facilities to only production staff and we have moved all non-production personnel to working remotely.
— John Fitzgerald, global marketing manager, TIPPER TIE, Inc.; firstname.lastname@example.org, (919) 362-8811, www.tippertie.com
As COVID-19 continues to impact businesses and consumers alike, Tompkins International, a leading supply chain consulting and solutions firm, has launched a digital hub of resources to help retailers continue to deliver on customer demands during these uncertain times. Tompkins International’s COVID-19 Resources hub includes educational and thought leadership content from industry veteran and Tompkins International Chairman and CEO Jim Tompkins and other company executives. The content focuses on the impacts of COVID-19, successful supply chain reinvention strategies and other related topics to help businesses flourish in an increasingly digital world. Users can access the online hub via the company’s website.
— Tompkins International; email@example.com, www.tompkinsinc.com
Triangle Package Machinery Company
In these trying times, Triangle has implemented several measures to better serve our customers in the meat and poultry industry. First, we’ve extended our technical phone support; two Triangle service technicians are on call at all times. We’ve also extended our remote support service, which allows us to connect to a customer’s machine and provide remote diagnostics. In addition, we are using Skype and FaceTime for troubleshooting assistance. We also have technicians on call on weekends for support and remote diagnostics as needed. If we see an increase in calls, we will add additional resources as needed.
— Kim Magon-Haller, marketing manager, Triangle Package Machinery Company; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, (service) (773) 836-3440, (aftermarket parts) (773) 836-3451, www.trianglepackage.com
As the COVID-19 conditions continue to change, almost daily, I wanted to let all of you know the steps we have taken. At this time, we do not see any reason that we would not be able to continue to ship your orders. There are only a few exceptions that will not ship immediately of the almost 4000 items we stock for same day shipment. Some of the steps we have taken are: Increased inventory projections for the next couple of months; restricted travel for all our sales staff; asked some employees to work from home; closed the walk-in store and further restricted access to our facility; discussed with all employees the importance of limiting their exposure when not at work; developed a plan to maintain warehouse staffing to ensure shipments; requested additional shipments from many manufacturers.
— Brett A. Walton, CEO/President, Walton’s Inc.; (800) 835-2832, waltonsinc.com