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NZ seafood company puts in place special control measures. Kiwi seafood company Sanford, like others in New Zealand’s primary industry sector, has been classified as a provider of an essential service and is continuing to operate, as New Zealand moves to an Alert Level 4.

However, the company, which operates out of sites across the country, has put a number of special measures in place to keep its people safe and to allow it to continue to operate.

Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch, says the company is very conscious that it is privileged to be able to continue to operate as a provider of an essential service supplying food to New Zealand and the world.

“Our number one focus is on keeping our Sanford people safe and secure, that way we can continue to help the rest of New Zealand by keeping food flowing to supermarkets. In order to do that we have put in place a number of extraordinary measures which include different operating procedures on our vessels and in our factories. We are also sending home all our people who can work from home. Clearly this does not include our fishers or those who process the fish, so for those people, we are requiring new work patterns and we will be enforcing staggered shifts and break times so that all our people can observe the social distancing requirements.”

Chief Operating Officer Clement Chia says “the intention is to adhere strictly to government and MPI guidelines, which must be followed to allow us to stay open as an essential business. Hygiene always plays a key role at all Sanford sites, but during this COVID-19 pandemic, that has been ramped up. There is no second guessing with safety. We want our people to know that Sanford sites are one of the safest places they can be during this pandemic and we are expecting them to maintain the strictest attitudes to safety at home too.”

Sanford acknowledges that there will be some impact on its business although it is too early to say what this will be. Mr Kuntzsch says: “It is difficult at this time to assess the impacts from changing demand patterns as we are in a constantly moving situation. However, our priority right now is safe operating, so we are taking all steps necessary to put our people’s safety and security first.”