Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to speak to Arjan Stephens, general manager, Nature's Path, about its new updates, which will eliminate viruses like airborne influenza. The latest tests also revealed that it is effective against two versions of the Coronavirus.
Earlier this year, Nature’s Path spent more than $1 million on barriers and physical distancing equipment, and wanted to implement further safety measures for employees who have to remove their masks to eat.
Liz Parker: What are the benefits of the installation?
Arjan Stevens: As a company, we want to do everything within our power to protect our front-line team members. Since the onset of COVID-19, we have introduced numerous safety measures, but the lunch and break rooms presented a unique challenge. Team members were still able to physically distance, but they obviously had to remove their masks to eat and drink.
So we started looking into options that would offer some additional protection from COVID-19 and other viruses, above and beyond what we had already introduced. In the course of our research, we discovered a growing library of evidence that demonstrated a clear role for Far-UVC light in promoting human health and wellness, specifically in eliminating viruses like COVID-19.
Our team members really appreciate the extra layer of protection the UV lights & filtration system offer.
LP: How has the pandemic impacted Nature’s Path’s business?
AS: The pandemic has only increased demand for our products. More people are now eating breakfast at home (instead of on the run) and are looking for healthy, organic options. There has also been a return to “comfort food”, like hot and cold cereal, the classics that offer a great start to the day.
To keep up with the increased demand, we have shifted our operations from 5 days a week, to 7 days a week. Like many businesses, our team members at the head office have all shifted to work-from-home. But clearly our workers at our three manufacturing facility do not have that option. So at the start of the pandemic, we introduced additional hero pay for all our frontline workers, and we have maintained that additional pay throughout the pandemic. We want to show how much we appreciate our team members.
It is so important for us to continue to make delicious, organic healthy food during these challenging times.
LP: What other technology updates/COVID-19 safety measures has Nature’s Path implemented?
AS: We have installed automatic temperature checks as you enter our head office and all our manufacturing plants. As team members head into the production floor, a camera automatically takes the person’s temperature, and if the team member has a fever, the door to the floor will not unlock, and an email is automatically sent to notify the manager on duty. We’ve also introduced increased sanitation and cleaning protocols, additional hand washing and hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass partitions on the manufacturing floor, physical distancing across our manufacturing process, and of course, masks are mandatory at all times.