Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd (CVE.NSP), the hemp food and ingredients company, said it is “committed to playing our role” to help maintain the food supply chain during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The company’s pledge Friday comes a day after the British Columbia provincial government announced several initiatives in the ongoing battle to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic -- including a crucial move by Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, to declare the food supply chain an essential service.
"I am pleased to say that industry leaders, organizations such as BC Food & Beverage and the province continue to work together in an effort maintaining the food supply chain. We are stronger as a team and Naturally Splendid is in these efforts," said Naturally Splendid CEO Craig Goodwin in a statement.
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The company noted that BC Food & Beverage (BCFB) also applauds the announcement by the BC government designating the food and beverage manufacturing sector as an essential service, which will offer more protection to secure the food supply in the province.
The announcement by the province comes after advocacy efforts by BCFB.
"Declaring food production, agriculture and its corresponding supply chain an essential service is an essential step to secure the continuation of the food supply to British Columbians," said James Donaldson, CEO of BCFB. "We are grateful to see the declaration by the BC government."
Donaldson said BCFB will be working with the government to ensure employees have access to everything they need to continue their essential operations in a safe environment.
"We will also be working with other stakeholders to ensure the food supply chain is maintained for all British Columbians,” he said. "Food production staff are essential and having the tools and resources to work safely is our top priority."
Naturally Splendid said there are more than 39,000 people employed in the sector in British Columbia alone, which at $15 billion annually is the largest manufacturing sector in BC and a critical component to the province’s economy.
"Essential service designation for the food supply chain will assist in procuring sanitation supplies including hand sanitizers, masks, and other essentials that are needed to provide adequate protection for employees," Donaldson said. "We owe it to these employees to assure them that they are not risking their families or themselves by continuing to come to work, and we need to fulfill our ethical and moral obligation to keep essential products on the shelves of grocery stores and homes.”
Minister Farnworth noted that the province is in a strong position to effectively respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Informed by the direction of the provincial health officer, we're taking these critical steps to keep our communities safe, goods moving, and essential service workers supported," he said.
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