Fresh Del Monte Produce has announced that during the Covid-19 pandemic, it will continue to deliver an uninterrupted supply of fresh fruits and vegetables – "safe, ready and available from farms to stores".
“We are proud of the role we are playing to keep the world fed, and the 43,000 members of the global Fresh Del Monte Produce family remain committed to meet this very important objective,” said Fresh Del Monte Produce president Youssef Zakharia.
The company said that it had taken numerous steps to date aimed at navigating the challenging global situation, supporting its employees, and ensuring business continuity.
These include the activation of its global executive crisis management team and regional response teams, so that it can continuously stay abreast of the situation and communicate the latest developments, proactively monitoring and adjusting business processes and procedures as necessary to ensure business continuity.
Del Monte confirmed that its production facilities remained open in locations where permitted, and said that, to increase social distancing, steps had been taken to reduce the number of employees in farm locations, packhouses, port operations and production facilities, while ensuring business continuity.
In addition to strict good manufacturing policies, the company has increased its cleaning cycles in its facilities, protecting against pathogen cross-contamination and worker-to-worker spread.
Any employees showing signs of illness are immediately segregated from the workforce and monitored before being allowed to return.
The group outlined that, although these practices were in place already as regular practice, they have been instrumental in helping mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Supply chain contingency plans have been activated to avoid any ongoing disruptions with respect to its ability to service customers.
"Fresh Del Monte Produce has been fortunate to receive incredible support from its employees, who remain committed to maintaining strict safety standards while ensuring that its valued customers can continue to provide quality food," the group stated. "As this crisis evolves, Fresh Del Monte Produce will continue to stay resilient and nimble, ensuring that everyone does what they must to stay healthy and safe. Together, we will emerge from this crisis."