The overall aim of this guidance is to ensure that combinable crop collections from farms and their delivery to a UK port, store or final use destination are maintained through the current coronavirus situation. This guidance also should be reviewed when collecting and delivering animal feed, by-products and other commodities used by or produced by the cereal and oilseed supply chain.
With an increased demand for a wider range of food products, the need to maintain capacity flow through the supply chain is crucial. With care we can ensure collections and deliveries are maintained whilst taking steps to minimise the risk factors for virus spread. The critical factor in a well-functioning supply chain during this difficult time will be patience and respect for each business partner and person.
This information has been collated and distributed through the Cereal Liaison Group, the industry working group made up of trade associations and related parties including AHDB, AIC, Gafta, MAGB, NFU, NFUS, Nabim, Red Tractor, Scopa, and SQC taking into consideration the latest information available from official sources, including Public Health England.
Best Practice advice for workers
Official government advice on key workers can be found here and Scottish advice here. In the absence (at time of publication) of official guidance on how to verify workers travelling, the following is suggested for those involved in activities required for the optimal functioning of the food and feed supply chains. Please ensure you follow current government advice where it is available.
- Employers could produce official letters on company paper certifying that the individual who holds the letter is deemed a Key Worker in the agricultural and food/feed supply chain.
- This letter would be kept with the person at all times, including when travelling to/from their place of work, or when in a lorry if a haulage driver.
- Contact details for company Directors and/or Managers may be made available on the letter to ensure clear communication if the person in question is challenged whilst in transit.
Guidance for on-farm collection
The NFU have produced a comprehensive set of guidance and helpful information for growers that can be found on their website. Key points from the NFU and other key advice is as follows:
- Visitors, deliveries and collections on farm: Avoid direct contact with new entrants on farm. Ensure hands are washed thoroughly before new entrants come onto the farm and use of PPE where necessary.
- Ensure that before and after handling paperwork (passports, driver instructions etc) hands are washed thoroughly by all parties handling the documents in accordance with government guidelines.
- Ensure that all surfaces and equipment that may be used or shared by entrants onto the farm are cleaned before and after use to prevent spread of the virus.
- Farmers are encouraged where possible to inform all participants of potential self-isolation and follow government guidelines as necessary.
- Consider biosecurity protocols such as cleaning types of equipment which uses hands.
- Communal rooms and toilets for farm staff- ensure there are handwashing facilities available.
- It is important where possible that we, the supply chain, work together. In the event grain lorry capacity is tightened, if your business is able to give flexibility for grain loading times this will help ease tightness.
Specific guidance for drivers
The Road Haulage Association have produced specific guidance for staff in the transport sector. Click here for the detailed review of guidance. Key points from this document are outlined below:
- Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including items such as pens etc which may be used when in contact with weighbridges and growers. Use your standard cleaning products. This includes areas inside the cab and any external areas that are at risk of contact by third parties.
- Use facilities at end destination for washing hands and sanitising.
- Follow all rules and instructions given at the end-receiver site.
- Ensure all contact with third parties follows official government guidance when en-route to end destination.
Guidance for delivery to port, store and end use destination
- Take all appropriate steps to minimize person to person contact on site – follow the Governments social distancing recommendations of maintaining a 2m space at all times with other personnel.
- Ensure all site-specific information is either communicated to visitors prior to delivery or available at point of site entry. This includes self-declaration forms which sites may have introduced for visitors.
- Visitors to sites should ensure they follow all on-site recommendations, which could include temperature checks. Bear in mind this may include restrictions on entry to weighbridges etc. which may have previously been allowed.
- Sites should continue to provide normal access to welfare facilities (toilets & hand washing facilities) for all persons visiting the site. HSE has issued reminders that restricting access is against the law, and may actually assist in further spreading of the virus.
- Where possible ensure separate facilities are available for site visitors and permanent site staff
- Both sites and visitors should take steps to avoid the unnecessary movement and transfer of materials (eg. paper documentation, pens etc.) between site personnel and visitors. Consider the use of remote collection, drop off points for documents where possible.