ORVILLE, OHIO — Geoff Tanner, chief marketing and commercialization officer at The J.M. Smucker Company (Smucker’s), on March 19 issued a letter to customers detailing how the company is handling the global coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, including precautions for employees, operational and supply chain measures, and mitigating impact for each of its business segments including pet food.
“Our pet food and pet snacks manufacturing facilities are running at or near full production capacity. We have added all available production days and continue to optimize our production mix to support the highest turn/volume items. We are in regular contact with our suppliers and co-pack network to understand their ability to meet existing orders and any potential impact of government actions,” Tanner said.
The company will be making proactive product cuts to focus on producing and providing pet food and treats that are in the highest demand. Select Natural Balance kibble dog foods, all wet pet foods in its Natural Balance, Nature’s Recipe and Rachael Ray Nutrish lines, and Milk Bone Brushing Chews will continue to be produced, but not above the normal monthly demand, Tanner said, in order to increase the production capacity of high volume products.
“To date, our manufacturing facilities have not been significantly impacted. We have full production capacity available at all locations at this time. While the situation is fluid, we have evaluated all manufacturing locations and do not anticipate any staffing shortages in the near term,” Tanner added regarding the current operational impact for all its business segments.
In the interest of its employees, Smucker’s has restricted domestic travel and ceased international travel, limited facility visits, encouraged appropriate social distancing, reinforced its current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), hygiene and sanitation standards, and urged eligible employees to work from home when possible.
“Additionally, we have formal processes in place to quarantine employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, have recently visited geographies where the virus is widespread, or believe they have come in contact with someone who has the virus,” Tanner said.
The company is working closely with its supply chain partners, including ingredient and packaging suppliers and distribution and retail partners, to “minimize any material negative impact,” Tanner said.
“Transportation capacity is starting to become constrained in the Northeast and Western parts of the United States, which could impact timeliness of future deliveries,” he added.
Additionally, Smucker’s continues to work with the United Way, Red Cross, Rescue Bank, Feeding America and other non-profit organizations to support communities impacted by COVID-19.
Read more about how pet food and treat manufacturers, suppliers and retailers are responding to the COVID-19 situation.
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