19th March 2020
To our Valued Customer, As the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, situation continues to evolve daily, we wanted to reach out to you directly to let you know how we are working to protect the health and well-being of our employees and our customers. Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO), I want to assure you we have implemented extensive procedures to address this continually evolving situation.
Our Crisis Management Team is leading this effort, including daily meetings with a cross functional group of global leaders, including risk, business continuity and occupational health and safety experts. This team is constantly monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), WHO and other government health agencies where we operate, as well as local health officials as warranted.
We take seriously our role in protecting our employees, customers and community during this health emergency. To date, we have:
• Activated our pandemic planning protocols. Each Sysco Operating Company maintains an up-to-date Pandemic Preparedness Plan, which defines procedures designed to protect the health and safety of our employees, while ensuring business continuity and our ability to service our customers.
• Our pandemic plan includes recommendations for providing safe deliveries when necessary, including procedures to limit or eliminate contact between our drivers and customers’ employees.
• Our employees and leaders have been thoroughly briefed and are following government guideline recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as by practicing proper hand-washing hygiene.
• We have also begun conducting health screenings for our customer-facing employees as well as all visitors to our sites.
• We have halted all domestic and international travel and employees may only travel for truly business-critical reasons.
• We have also implemented a “return to work” protocol that applies to any employee who may potentially have been exposed to the virus. Sysco’s director of global occupational health works closely with our operating companies to provide oversight on these “return to work” decisions.
• We have also proactively communicated our policy that requires delivery employees to not report to work if they are showing signs of flu-like illness, and to seek medical attention as necessary.
• Up until the 30th April, we have also cancelled or postponed our attendance at large group meetings of more than 100 people as well as any food shows Sysco may host. We will continue to assess extension of this directive as warranted.
• Importantly, we have provided guidelines for remote work arrangements for our employees’.
In addition, we are closely monitoring our supply chain for potential disruptions and are developing contingency plans should the long-term effects of COVID-19 impact suppliers’ inventory levels or the ability to ship product.
According to both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are spread from person-to-person and there is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.
If you have any other questions or concerns about this matter or the actions we’re taking to protect our employees, customers and our business please contact your sales representative in the first instance.
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