South Africa’s largest exporter of apples and pears, Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, owned by Two-a-Day in the Elgin, Grabouw, Villiersdorp and Vyeboom valleys and Ceres Fruit Growers in Ceres in South Africa’s Western Cape says it is ready to meet its local and export commitments and protect its staff and customers during Covid-19.
Tru-Cape Managing Director, Roelf Pienaar says that in line with the leadership provided by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Tru-Cape has put measures in place to protect staff and families.
“From a Tru-Cape Marketing perspective, we have implemented business travel restrictions as well as self-isolation where appropriate. This includes all local and international travel. We believe this is a step in the right direction to limit exposure to our employees. We are adopting flexible working arrangements for employees where possible. Where this is not possible, arrangements are in place to ensure a safe environment for our employees to continue working at our premises. We are using technology like video conferencing and other on-line platforms to remain in touch. We are limiting group gatherings, and we have cancelled any conferences and events. We have increased the frequency of cleaning our premises.”
Pienaar says that within the packhouses which already follow stringent and globally recognised hygiene practices that they are being ever more vigilant in the reinforcement of increased hygiene practices in line with World Health Organisation and local government advice.
“We have increased communication on COVID-19 including our approach to managing the associated risks. All employees are encouraged to take flu injections which should minimise the risk of employees being diagnosed with both flu and Covid-19. Electronic monitoring of body temperatures will be taken by the packhouses. Our on-site clinic has been geared to keep potentially infected employees safe until further testing can be done. This includes safeguards for the clinic staff and on-site Doctor.
“Potential Covid-19 cases will be dealt with in accordance with the Western Cape Department of Health’s advice. We have further identified an off-site safe house should we need to self-quarantine employees who cannot be assisted by the Department of Health. We also know the important role that fresh fruit and vegetables such as our growers produce plays in helping to boost the immune system and that maintaining a healthy diet is among the first steps in staying well.
“As a business, and as a society, we are in unchartered waters. This is business unusual. However, with what we know at this stage, we are confident that we will be able to meet our commitments and keep our team safe.”