06 Aug 2020

Coronavirus - Rijk Zwaan supports growers with continued supply of seeds

Understandably, there has been a lot of concern about how the situation, particularly in Victoria, parts of New South Wales and now also with border closures across the country, will affect seed supply. At the onset of this pandemic, the Australian Government determined that our industry is an essential service and we should continue operations that yield benefits including the promotion of healthy eating.

Seed supply provides an essential link in the food chain and our vegetable seeds form the foundations of ensuring a healthy and varied diet is available to the Australian general public. As a vegetable breeding company, we are acutely aware of the role we play as part of an industry that contributes to the world’s food supply.

Our customers are still operating and we are here to support them. Our vegetable seeds enable growers to produce vegetables accessible by the general public at markets, local grocers and supermarkets across the whole country and also overseas.

We continue to monitor the pandemic situation closely, both within Australia and abroad. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure we can continue to supply seeds, as well as forecast and address any potential supply interruptions before they take effect.

The Coronavirus outbreak, and the second wave is being taken very seriously by Rijk Zwaan. We recognises the importance of continuing to implement measures that limit the spread of the virus. We continue to closely monitor the advice of health officials and governments and are implementing measures within our company accordingly. Some of the measures we continue to adopt and reinforce include:

  • Prioritising the safety of our employees, partners and our business contacts. We have enabled our colleagues, where possible, to work from home, reducing numbers in offices, warehouses and across our operations.
  • We have adopted new ways of communicating with our partners and business contacts. Through various online mediums, including video conferencing and trial site videos we are able to communicate results from vegetable trials, particularly in instances where growers have been unable to attend events.
  • We are in regular contact with industry and government so we can remain at the forefront of news and updates and can act appropriately as the situation evolves.
  • We have limited non-essential travel and redeployed colleagues to other projects (as needed) to ensure seamless continuation of business activities.
  • We have limited potential stockpiling issues by keeping in regular contact with our growers.
  • Our employees in Victoria are adhering to government advice and wearing masks in additional to maintaining social distancing and other recommended activities.

We continue to reassure customers that despite the upheaval the pandemic has created in many lives, we are operating without restrictions placed on our seed production and supply chains.

Our employees, have and continue to work tirelessly to ensure we continue to meet our customer orders and supply them with vegetable seeds as planned. We are committed to working with our partners and business contacts to find solutions to any issues our customers may be facing at this time.

Please take care of one another. Rijk Zwaan supports our growers, the industry and we will all stand stronger together!

 

Steven Roberts and Tim March

Managing Directors, Australia