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 over 100,000 and is expected to go further up as travel has reopened across the country. In Coimbatore and Tirunelveli, the situation has settled a little with around 600 and 200 new daily cases respectively. Our 2 factories continue to run with rotations and a reduced manpower (70-80%) at any point in time to limit the risks, and we continue preventive testing and quarantines. Thankfully, our project works are all moving forward and importantly we are now in position to hire again, which we need to fully and safely operate the new capabilities we have been building in the past year in both factories. On the charcoal side, we have been able to secure enough volumes to run fully, despite a number of suppliers being shut down due to community pressure.
In Philippines, we have seen an increase in cases in the region which led us to put several employees in preventive quarantine. Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Japan and China have had the Covid under full 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 due to limited supply and transport difficulties. 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 most of 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 announcement of 2 weeks ago).
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.
We are conscious of the physical and mental stress level the COVID-19 context is putting on our factory employees, and it is important we manage our planning, priorities and projects in a manner that maximize production output without compromising health and safety.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Take good care.
Remko Goudappel CEO
Jacobi Carbons AB