Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
How does Vion explain the high percentage of infected employees?
- The RIVM indicates that the virus is spread at home in most cases.
- The exact cause is being studied in collaboration with the GGD and Erasmus University.
- We continuously tighten our measures at all locations based on RIVM regulations and insights from other authorities, such as the GGD and Inspectorate SZW.
- Measures have been taken in the workplace, in the home situation and during the transport of employees to prevent infection as much as possible.
The following policy applies to employees after their individual test results have been made known:
- People who test negative are permitted to work, provided they have not shown any symptoms for 24 hours;
- People who test positive and show symptoms must stay in isolation at home until they have not shown any symptoms for 24 hours; they may only return to work if at least seven days have passed since the test result;
- People who test positive and do not show any symptoms must stay in home isolation for 72 hours. If symptoms develop within this period, the policy from the previous point will be initiated.
Didn’t Vion take measures far too late? How come?
- Vion already implemented an initial set of measures as soon as the first signs of COVID-19 infection were seen in China and Bavaria, in mid-February.
- In March and May, we implemented additional measures, always in line with the guidelines provided by RIVM, GGD, NVWA and Inspectorate SZW.
Is it possible to keep 1.5 metres apart in abattoirs?
- Vion adheres to RIVM regulations at all its locations. In places where it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart, we have installed screens. In some situations, employees wear face masks.
- Compliance with the rules is closely monitored.
Does Vion consider it sensible for employees to live together in small communities?
- When there is no corona, this way of living together does not pose a risk. Everyone has their privacy and there are communal facilities. Currently, larger communal spaces are a point of concern because of the risk of infection.
- We are working actively to adjust the housing of our employees to the situation. Where possible, larger housing facilities are divided into smaller units. We do this in consultation with the municipalities in which we are active.
How is communial transport arranged?
The rules for the transport of people have been tightened according to the RIVM 1.5-metre social distancing guidelines for transport. Employees use face masks in communal transport. Those using transport must undergo a health check.
How is it possible that so many minibuses with too many employees were previously stopped by the police in Apeldoorn?
- We have continually taken measures in February, March and May. The RIVM, GGD and Inspectorate SZW ensured this. The same applies to transport.
- The lack of clarity mainly concerned the definition of “household” within the agreements that apply to transport. We were also of the opinion that our employees who live together in the same residence belonged to a single household.
- According the Apeldoorn police, this is in breach of the restrictions laid down by RIVM.
- We immediately responded to their appeal. Our employees, temporary employment agencies and drivers have been given clear instructions to eliminate any ambiguity about transport.
- This concerns thousands of employees and numerous transport movements. There is no 100% guarantee for the many hundreds of journeys made per day. But we do not tolerate the agreements we make being compromised.
What test policy is in place at Vion’s locations in the Netherlands and Germany?
- Vion is in favour of preventive and regular testing at all locations in the Netherlands and Germany.
- Vion has appealed to the GGD and Security Regions to do so.
- The GGD is currently conducting tests in the meat sector, including at Vion locations.
- Vion is in favour of testing employees in their home situation wherever possible, as this is where most infections take place, according to RIVM.
Can the virus spread through raw meat?
- The RIVM and NVWA have established previously that the virus does not spread through (raw) meat.
Can the virus spread through livestock, or living animals?
- Pigs and cows do not appear to play a role in the spread of the virus. Despite the extensive literature already available in this field, Vion is participating in a study at the request of the OMT (Outbreak Management Team) to investigate this again in pigs. The results of this study are expected in the coming months.
Which locations are currently closed?
On 4 June Vion opened the production site in Groenlo after approval of the security region North and East Gelderland. There are currently no Vion sites closed.
Isn’t this a wake-up call for the entire meat sector? Is the sector healthy?
- We are proud of our company, of our industry and of the fact that we have the opportunity to ensure the meat supply for our country.
- This corona crisis makes it clear that we should aspire to continuously improve in areas such as human and animal welfare, working conditions, sustainability, the environment, and the care for each other. Corporate Social Responsibility has been an integral part of our strategy and management for many years.
- Vion has the ambition to lead the way in the transition of our industry.