Vion responds to appeal made by chairman of the Safety Region

Date: 27-05-2020

Boxtel, 27 May 2020 – Vion Food Group has informed the chairman of the North and East Gelderland Safety Region that it will respond to his appeal to comply with the 1.5 m distance measures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), also regarding the transport of people. All employees will be informed about these measures this evening. Temporary employment agencies and drivers will receive instructions for the use of transport, in line with the appeal made by the Safety Regions.

Following talks with Minister Schouten of Agriculture late yesterday afternoon, the special Vion team for the living environment and transport of employees got to work on concrete actions for the tightened measures that were proposed to Vion and the sector. Within 24 hours, this team has succeeded in arranging 50 coaches which, as of Thursday, will transport employees to and from work every day. For the 5600 Vion employees, additional instructions to the hygiene and 1.5 metre distance measures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) that already apply include:

  • Despite the responsibility of the temporary employment agencies concerned, Vion has given these agencies strict instructions about the correct execution of these measures.
  • 50 coaches will be used to get everyone to work safely. Up till 1 June, 13 people per 50 seater coach. As of 1 June, this number will be raised to 30 people per coach, in compliance with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) regulations.
  • The use of masks when commuting in a minibus or coach is obligatory.

Households

Ronald Lotgerink, CEO Vion Food Group: “The appeal made by the Safety Region is clear. We have continually taken measures in February, March and May. The National Institute for Public Health (RIVM), Municipal Health Service (GGD) and Inspectorate SZW ensured this. The same applies to transport. Last Monday, we announced that we would take action. Work has been carried out non-stop to be able to do this. Today, the police drew up a report. The offences mainly concern the definition of ‘household’ within the agreements that apply for transport. We were also of the opinion that our employees that 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 the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). We understand the position of the Safety Regions and will respond to their appeal. We have a responsibility to do this. We instruct our employees, the temporary employment agencies and drivers. And we expect that this will clarify anything that is unclear about transport. This concerns thousands of employees and numerous transport movements. A 100% guarantee for an error-free start tomorrow does not exist, but we will not make compromises on the agreements that we make.”