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The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
At Lundberg Family Farms we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees and the safety of our workplace. We are equally committed to serving the needs of our consumers, customers, and communities. While we are based in California, where Governor Newsom has issued “stay at home” orders, food and agricultural producers are considered “essential businesses.” As such, our manufacturing operations will continue so that we may provide food to the public. Now more than ever, we are dedicated to maintaining our high food safety standards and have implemented additional policies for our employees’ personal health and safety.
Lundberg Family Farms ensures that all products coming through our supply chain and manufactured at our facilities are produced according to strict food safety guidelines adhering to state and federal requirements. Our Lundberg Family Farms facility, as well as our supply chain processors, are certified by a third party to Global Food Safety Initiative standards (GFSI), or a similar food safety program. These certifications verify our compliance to personal hygiene (including handwashing) and facility sanitation practices that ensure the overall food safety of manufactured products and our commitment to providing safe, quality food for our consumers and customers.
HIGH DEMAND ITEMS
We are experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for our packaged rice, with year-over-year growth never seen before by our company. Our team is working diligently and creatively to meet orders to the best of our ability and communicate any required adjustments to our customers. We are currently able to meet demand for our rice cakes, rice chips and rice side dishes.
The current level of demand for our packaged rice exceeds the amount we have available, and we are allocating our available inventory fairly and equitably across all existing customers. We are preparing to plant our 2020 crop and intend to plant substantially more acres this year to help meet the increase in demand. This crop will be available late fall of 2020. We will remain transparent with our valued customers and work together as we navigate this unprecedented supply disruption.
As a family-owned business, our employees are the heart of who we are. In addition to the ongoing high level of support we provide to our employees, we are carefully following guidelines provided by health officials; federal, state, and local governments; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the past several weeks, we have instituted a number of additional measures to protect the health of our team, including:
- Suspending all business travel
- Restricting access to our facility by visitors
- Enabling work from home for all non-essential employees
- Requiring employees who are experiencing symptoms of illness to stay home
- Providing paid leave consistent with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Assuring employees have proper social distancing
- Encouraging frequent and effective handwashing
- Increasing sanitation of common areas using disinfectant that is effective in killing viruses and consistent with maintaining our food production areas’ certified organic status
Our senior management is meeting regularly to assess the situation and instituting additional measures as the situation evolves. We are closely monitoring all developments related to the coronavirus and are prepared to adjust our operations and procedures as needed to ensure the health and well-being of our customers and employees.
I want to personally thank all of our employees and customers for their support and cooperation as we navigate through this unprecedented period.