We are entering weeks 9 and 10 of a UK wide lockdown during a period of huge uncertainty and concerns for a potential new spike in COVID-19 cases as restrictions start to ease. However, food focused operations have been running and we have been supporting our customers through the past couple of months with remote audits, assessments, advisory and technology solutions to support our key partners to ensure the integrity of their 2nd Party Programmes.
Following the UK Government announcements in recent days starting to map the return to working activities (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy) we have continued to risk access our operational processes and provide support to our own staff and clients in the transition back to business. We maintain a full capability to support and advise our customers working remotely, we continue to monitor the health of our staff, we are sourcing the appropriate PPE in readiness for physical auditing and we are engaging with both retailers and the supplier communities to assess a pathway moving forward as soon as practicable whilst extending our remote and online solutions to bridge the gap where physical auditing remains impractical.
As we begin to take the first steps lifting restrictions since the initial UK COVID-19 lockdown and we move into a new world of governance we continue to evaluate the compliance and improvement needs of the Food Industry against professional body guidance, the new restrictions of social distancing and safe operating practices (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/factories-plants-and-warehouses to ensure our colleagues and customer staff remain safe at all times. We are also starting to forward book physical on-site audits where possible with caution, as restrictions start to lift, in response to our individual customers’ requirements.
What the ‘future state’ or ‘new normal’ looks like for us and our partners is part of the strategic challenge ahead. Change is inevitable. Safe operational environments for all our colleagues and the integrity of our Customers Standards remain uppermost to ensure the supply of safe food to the general public. The FSSI Group and our sister business’ continue to adapt and innovate in order to ensure that our customers and partners can continue their regulatory programmes using our remote tools and our wealth of investigatory auditor experience.
Please contact us for more information.
The FSSI Group