COVID-19 - IOFI Statement on the essential role of the food sector

Mar 26, 2020
As a critical part of the food supply chain, the global Flavor Industry calls on governments to include facilities that manufacture flavorings as “essential businesses.” These facilities should therefore be exempt from measures that would restrict work activities of flavor employees and close operations.

On March 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel Coronavirus a global pandemic, an outbreak that is a public health emergency for people, societies and economies around the globe.

IOFI fully supports the need for the determined measures put in place by governments around the globe in order to slow down the contagion and to strengthen the resilience of our health care systems.

Our members have instructed their employees to adhere to official instructions from the competent national authorities to protect themselves and others from the virus. Employees involved in the manufacturing of flavors may also be subject to company specific measures and protocols that help them to minimize the risk of infection.

In line with the recommendations put in place by governments around the world, IOFI and its member companies and associations asks all non-essential staff who are not directly involved in manufacturing and supply of flavor ingredients to observe local restrictions, practice social distancing, and if possible to work from home

In these challenging times the flavor industry is committed to providing its continued support to communities by ensuring a functioning food supply chain and food security for consumers. Around the world, food and food ingredient manufacturers, including flavor manufacturers, help ensure the continued operation of the food industry, which is vital to the health and wellness of the global community during this pandemic.

As an important part of the food supply chain, IOFI believes the flavor industry should be regarded as an essential sector and any disruption of the business operations should therefore be limited to a strict minimum.

All components of the food industry, including flavorings, are critical to maintaining the food supply for the global community and it is therefore vital that they continue to operate as the world responds to this pandemic.

IOFI advocates for harmonized measures for food sector employees to continue their work; they should be given exemptions whenever possible in order to maintain a functioning food supply.

IOFI urges WTO trading partners to facilitate trade in food products and essential ingredients and calls for international collaboration to ensure the free movement of goods globally.