Response To COVID-19 Cases At Fruit Products Operation, Tulbagh

RFG Holdings confirms that two people working at its fruit products manufacturing plant in Tulbagh, Western Cape, have tested positive for COVID-19.

RFG has developed a detailed COVID-19 protocol, as well as a specific incident management protocol, to mitigate the risks relating to the disease. The protocols were developed in accordance with the NICD COVID-19 guideline and Department of Health regulations and have been fully complied with at the Tulbagh facility.

As soon as the company was notified of the first confirmed case, production was stopped for the factory to be disinfected and the NICD was informed. Close contacts of the confirmed cases were identified and are currently in self-isolation. Enhanced screening of the workforce commenced on 23 April and will continue until 29 April.

Management are working closely with the Department of Health and the Department of Employment and Labour who are satisfied that the company has followed all necessary regulations and guidelines in handling the incidents. All possible measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the workforce. The facility, which is involved in the manufacture of essential food products, has reopened and is currently in full production. Management will review the situation on a daily basis in the interest of employee well-being.

The products remain entirely safe and cannot become contaminated due to the nature of the Corona virus and the fruit canning process.

Should it become necessary to close the facility, RFG’s internal COVID-19 assistance fund and the various government funds will be used to support employees who are financially impacted. The RFG fund has been created through donations by the company’s directors and senior management. The CEO has donated 50% of his salary for three months and the rest of the executive team have taken a 30% reduction in their salaries for the same period. Board members have donated 30% of their directors’ fees for the next three months. Senior managers are contributing to the fund on a voluntary basis.

“The safety and welfare of our employees is our priority at this time. We have taken every precaution to protect our staff while maintaining our supply of food products. The assistance fund is evidence of the commitment of the executives and non-executives to ensure that employees and their families are supported in this time of crisis,” said CEO Bruce Henderson.