Novotaste’s message amid the COVID-19 pandemic and notification of continuing operations

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Novotaste’s message amid the COVID-19 pandemic and notification of continuing operations as a priority manufacturer of certain essential goods

 

We are living in unprecedented times, where there are still more questions than there are answers. Novotaste’s products are essential for food and beverage manufacturers and are a vital part of that ecosystem. We shall therefore ensure steady production as we do have a social responsibility. We are blessed with having a terrific team at every level of our organization, and our top priority is to protect our employees.

For all of this to happen, analysis and measures to mitigate health risks to employees, supply chain and potential demand surges have been implemented. These measures will evolve with time and we will make sure to disclose any updates that we feel can help our clients and suppliers. We are at a time where we should share our best practices.

In summary, here are some of the new measures and initiatives implemented in our company, which are supplementary to the strict guidelines already in force and linked to our various certifications:

 Employee health and safety: communication, sanitization and social distancing

  • Work from home for approximately a third of our employees. We have been operating this way since a week with limited glitches and do not foresee any problems;
  • Increased communications to employees to help all understand COVID-19 and the governmental strategies to slow it’s momentum to “Flatten the curve”.
  • Immediate disclosure required for any employee not feeling well, or having been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Increase in work area sanitation with frequent reminders to employees to sanitize their stations and to keep a two-meter space from each other. This is easily enforceable, due to the layout and size of our building;
  • Staggering of lunch hours to insure maximum possible social distancing;
  • Multiplication of sanitary measures in key non-production areas such as the employee and main entrances, cafeteria, bathrooms, door handles;
  • Closing of the gym;
  • Lock down of the main entrance and prohibition of any visitors that are not providing an essential service to our operations such as IT, maintenance, sanitation etc;
  • In-person business meetings are suspended and replaced by available technologies;
  • All travel suspended until further notice;
  • Every employee who has returned from travel is to be self-quarantined for 14 days;
  • Strict new guidelines for the shipping and receiving function, limiting any direct or indirect contacts with freight personnel and promoting distancing;
  • HAND WASHING: this is emphasized many times at every meeting and communication.

Supply chain/Production

  • We have started in early February to secure positions and increase our volumes for all our key components. Most of our suppliers are part of the food, beverage, and pharma industries and hence are recognized as essential manufacturers, with limited risks to their revenues or ability to supply;
  • Although our key raw materials are readily available through multiple suppliers, we have extended our efforts to ensure that multiple sources are available for the vast majority of our components;
  • We have launched a campaign to create a bank of candidates for our workforce, in the event of a demand surge.

Novotaste Certifications and production specificities

It is important to highlight that the measures implemented herein are supplemental to the usual practices followed and executed under our various certifications, such as FSSC22000. While we continuously apply all the process guidelines related to our certifications, it is important to note that there is no direct human contact with the products during production of the flavour and essential oil solutions. I felt it necessary to disclose this information during these times where many questions are (rightfully) being asked. The new supplementary measures implemented are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and our operations. Some of these initiatives might become permanent, as we feel that this terrible event will change the way humans do things forever.

We are committed to protect our employees and to maintain our operations at full capacity in order to serve the community and would like to thank you for your continued support.

 

Robert Barakett

President and CEO

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COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC
COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic