As promised, this is to update you on the current situation at Jacobi Carbons and the way we are managing the consequences of the Corona crisis, making sure our people are safe and we serve you in the best way possible. I’ll continue updating you on a weekly basis as the situation remains fragile.
As everyone is focusing heavily on controlling the spread of the virus and maximizing our production output to serve our customers, we are maintaining our focus on safety as well. There has been no change to our policy in the past weeks:
- At all our plants, we have implemented strict social distancing, employees performing new tasks with modified work shifts, and restricted presence of certain employees and contractors at the factories.
- Our office teams continue working from home until December 31, 2020. If a visit to the office is necessary, strict rules are being applied in terms of hygiene, social distancing and ensuring a limited number of people in the office at any one time.
- We have started allowing domestic travel as of September 1 in certain countries, only to those customers who are comfortable receiving visits or where visits are considered critically important. Pre-approval by the regional President is required in case of air and train travel and strict rules still apply in order to make sure that we do not take unnecessary risks for the health and safety of our people and you as our customer. Also, we do not want to contribute potentially to spreading the virus.
- International and internal travel are not allowed yet, unless absolutely necessary and pre-approved by the CEO.
- We still do not accept visitors to our plants until the end of the year. Visitors may introduce a risk which could lead to being forced to close down the site by local authorities. In order to do everything in our power to keep our sites in full operations, we cannot allow visitors until December 31, 2020.
Your Jacobi representative will stay in close touch with you to understand your changing needs and communicate about any prospective supply delays, making sure that we can continue meeting your needs. Pro-active communication is of absolute importance to make sure we can anticipate and serve you best. In order to meet the market-needs together, we need to work closely together in maintaining the right stock levels.
All our Asian factories are running at maximum capacity but the situation is still fragile. We are maintaining very strict hygiene and social distancing rules in all our factories, transport of people and goods requires utmost attention, and safety must remain our prime focus.
In India, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases is now reaching 95,000. The curve has flattened in Tamil Nadu, but as the Government has reopened travel across the country there is a serious risk it could increase again in Coimbatore (JCB) and Tirunelveli (JCN). Our 2 factories are organised to run with rotations and at reduced manpower (70-80%) at any point in time to limit the risk and allow for precautionary measures. Preventive testing is being conducted at JCB and has resulted in no positive cases so far. Despite this and the underlying physical and mental stress level, the 2 factories are still able to operate at 100%. The charcoal supply continues to be under enormous stress, as the demand far exceeds the availability of material which is further limited by the community pressure as well as by excessive rain in the past weeks.
The other 2 countries widely affected by the COVID-19 in Asia are Indonesia and Philippines, where transport remains heavily restricted and charcoal supply is also under stress. Our Philippines factory is however running without disruptions.
Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China have the situation under control, but their borders remain practically closed.
The charcoal supply continues to be under intense pressure in India, but also in Sri Lanka and Philippines. Our priority is to ensure the security of supply and we have been able to secure our needs. Unfortunately, we cannot control the price evolution and suffer from being unable to actually visit our suppliers.
As a result, our raw material costs continue to increase steeply. That is why we have had to implement a price increase as of October 1, 2020 for all coconut shell-based carbons (see last week’s announcement).
We are back to full operations while fully respecting social distancing and hygiene rules. If a resurgence happens close
to one of our operations, immediate precautionary actions are taken.
• Germany: we continue to fully operate in Premnitz.
• Italy: we continue to fully operate in Basiano.
• France: is fully operating as well with full staffing, including the AMCA team.
• Our operations in Spain, the UK, and Sweden are facing no disruptions.
Our production facility and warehouse locations remain fully operational, however, at a heightened sense of alert, as regional surges continue to occur. Fortunately, we have no COVID-19 cases at our facilities.
We continue our efforts at our facilities to maintain the highest focus on preventive measures to keep our people safe
and to safeguard continuous operations.
It is unfortunate that Jacobi has faced COVID-19 cases in India. However, being fully prepared to act according to our Emergency Response Plan, protecting the safety and well-being of our people and making sure that the spread of the virus is contained, has secured the output of the plants and enabled us to continue serving our customers. Our experience in India is very valuable for us and helps us to be prepared in case COVID-19 hits our organization in another part of the world or in India again.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Take good care.
Remko Goudappel CEO
Jacobi Carbons AB