Health and safety have always been at the heart of Kemin and the ingredients we create. The products we make help protect people, pets, production animals and plants, and are now more critical than ever. In these uncertain times, as COVID-19 continues to grip us all, Kemin is doing everything we can to ensure our employees are safe, our food supply is protected and our customers and communities are supported.
As a global ingredient manufacturer, we have faced coronavirus since it was first detected, beginning in China and spreading into Italy, the United States, and almost every other country. Because we have had to respond to COVID-19 since its onset, Kemin has been able to leverage the experience of our regional response teams and steering committee to create policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of coronavirus as it spreads across the world.
Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and their families is the number one priority at Kemin. Putting our team members first helps keep our community members safe and allows us to continue providing product to our customers.
Essential Business Bonus Program
As an essential business that provides ingredients for our food supply chain, pets, production animals and plants, Kemin continues to operate while shelter-in-place and other lockdown orders are in place. From the manufacturing facilities to the research laboratories, our team members continue to come to Kemin facilities every day. In recognition of their extraordinary work ethic and dedication to their work, Kemin launched a $1 million bonus program for North America employees who must be on-site to perform their role. Similar salary supplement and bonus programs have been established at other Kemin locations around the globe.
Because COVID-19 has created so many new challenges for all of us, Kemin wanted to ensure that having food at home and a meal on the table wasn’t one of them. The company purchased GrubHub gift certificates for all U.S. employees, as well as Walmart gift cards for those outside of GrubHub service areas. Kemin also waived the delivery fee for employees who order groceries online through Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee.
Globally, Kemin has taken significant steps to ensure our workforce is operating in the safest manner possible. We have instituted a mandatory work-from-home policy for employees who are able fulfill their role remotely. For employees who must be on-site at a Kemin facility to do their job, we are practicing an abundance of caution.
We require twice-daily temperature checks, implemented a mandatory mask policy, social distancing and nightly enhanced deep cleaning and new split shifts and/or schedules have been created and implemented.
Personal Protective Equipment
In Iowa, where Kemin’s global headquarters is located, medical care providers are facing a real shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The COVID-19 Response Committee worked with Kemin teams in the laboratories and manufacturing facilities to collect nearly 10,000 articles of PPE, including masks, safety glasses, gloves, coverall safety suits and disposable lab coats, for the Iowa Department of Public Health.
In Italy, one of the countries hit especially hard by COVID-19, employees at our Kemin Nutrisurance facility in Veronella donated a portion of their April paychecks to healthcare workers at the local Legnano Hospital. The Nelson family, which owns and operates Kemin, matched their €25’000 donation for a total of €50’000.
The Kemin Textiles Auxiliaries team in San Marino, a microstate surrounded by north-central Italy, also contributed part of their paychecks to the Civil Protection of San Marino, the organization responsible for raising funds for the State Hospital. The €10’000 donation will support healthcare personnel treating COVID-19 patients.
Kemin teams around the globe have made similar donations to their local healthcare workers. In Belgium, where Kemin’s EMENA (Europe, Middle East, North Africa) region headquarters are located, we delivered more than 200 masks to a regional hospital to use in its emergency room.
In Brazil, the Kemin South American headquarters, the local Kemin Nutrisurance team joined the Commercial and Industrial Association of Chapecó efforts to purchase respirators for the largest public hospital in the state. In Vargeão, where the Kemin Nutrisurance manufacturing facility is located, the team provided lab coats to the public health facility so medical personnel could conduct appointments at residents’ homes.
The Nelson Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the Nelson family, which owns and operates Kemin Industries, gave $50,000 to the Food Bank of Iowa to help feed food insecure Iowans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The support will provide meals to 200,000 Iowans in need.
In all the countries where Kemin operates, our work is considered essential because the ingredients we produce allow our customers, including food companies, to make sure that we all have access to safe and healthy meals during the coronavirus pandemic.
The programs we have implemented to protect our employees’ health and safety ultimately allow us to continue supplying products to our customers. What our customers do is vital to people, our pets, production animals and plants.
We want our customers and our valued suppliers to know they can count on Kemin, and we’re counting on them, to continue providing the highest-quality products, superior customer service, scientific and technical expertise and innovation.
*Policies and procedures are based on Kemin’s interpretation of CDC guidance, as well as GMP and Food Defense obligations.
These are frequently changing, as new guidance is frequently released by the CDC, and is reliant on the availability of various supplies. We are in no way are suggesting that they are the proper guidance for others.