Marketing Guyana’s produce amidst COVID-19
—Strict safety measures implemented as GMC continues operations
DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 27, 2020
As the country continues to adjust to the new-normal the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) continues to ensure local products are available on the shelves at various supermarkets under the strictest of health and safety measures.
Speaking to DPI, Packaging Facility Manager, Celestine Butters said the protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of their employees as well as customers.
“Sinks, door handles are disinfected every half-hour. There are disposable gloves, masks, and sanitizers to every desk. For the pack-houses, sinks were also constructed and footbaths are provided. We have a Quality Assurance Officer on site who is also in charge of the sensitisation sessions with the staff,” Butters related.
“Under the occupational safety and health procedures, our on-site, Quality Assurance Officer, hosts a programme about precautions in the workplace. This includes the importance of maintaining hand washing and respiratory hygiene and regularly, monitoring the staff’s health, Signs are also erected in the building to give guidelines as it related to COVID 19.”
She also disclosed that a rotation system for the staff has beenimplemented, social distancing measures adhered to and the Zoom platform utilised for meetings. Employees are not allowed to travel in public transportation and during the stay-at-home order, they were transported to and from work.
In February, the GMC in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture launched a plantain chip factory at Parika. Butters disclosed that COVID-19 pandemic has not affected production.
“At the facility, they work every day, however at reduced hours and have been efficiently producing and supplying demand.”
Meanwhile, Manager of the Guyana Shop, Kevin Macklingam said the outlet is focusing on retailing certain products during the pandemic.
Macklingam said the shop is not currently stocking non-perishables such as table snacks and only products that could not survive long periods are being shelved along with the necessities such as rice, flour and sugar. They also ensure suppliers are responsible for proper packaging and transport.
“When the produce arrives at the Guyana Shop, we used precautions – wearing masks and sanitising our hands. We also follow health tips to avoid contaminating glass bottles, etc.,” Macklingam stated.
Customers visiting their outlet are required to wear face masks and wash their hands before entering