Update – COVID-19 Preparedness Actions Plan

Dear Valued Customer,

We are closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada and around the world, and are following guidance from public health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), for our preparedness efforts.

As you have likely heard by now, many provinces have issued orders directing non-essential services to close until further notice. Since the nature of our activities has been recognized as Essential by several of them, we are maintaining our operations for the procurement and distribution of coffee and food products, as well as for the critical repair and maintenance of our equipment across Canada.

Our focus at Van Houtte Coffee Services (VHCS) is keeping our employees, and customers safe while taking necessary actions to enable us to meet our service commitments as the situation evolves. We have business continuity plans in place to address potential implications due to COVID-19, including risks related to a reduced workforce or disruptions to our product supply.

We will continue to be diligent and take appropriate measures to ensure the well-being of our employees, customers, supply partners and the communities in which we operate. We have already reviewed some of our procedures and implemented additional preventive measures across our many VHCS branches in Canada so our services can be maintained safely coast-to-coast, some of which we would like to share with you:

  • Only allowing essential staff in our branches, limiting visitors access and suspending walk-in sales activities. Employees not needed on premise are working from home and conducting virtual meetings.
  • All our operation employees have received hygiene and etiquette guidance on the best ways to prevent the spread of infection during their daily tasks.
  • Additional breaks are enforced during the day for our employees to wash their hands.
  • Special cleaning protocols are deployed for all equipment, trucks, forklifts and work tools.
  • Gloves and protective wear are used during customers’ order picking and packing.
  • No more signatures are allowed on delivery and contactless payments are preferred.
  • Delivery associates and front-line employees are to preserve social distancing measures.
  • Ordering: Online ordering via www.clientportalvhcs.com is recommended. Please contact your sales representative for instructions on setting up your online account if you don’t have one. Customers may also call in or send their orders by email to our Field and Inside Sales Representatives.
  • Delivery: To minimize movements of our Delivery Associates inside customers’ buildings and until further notice, we prefer to leave the ordered goods at the customer’s reception, or the location’s receiving area. Customers would then be responsible for putting away the goods. We may also use a third-party courier to assist with deliveries during these exceptional times.
  • Technical Services: Customers are asked to call in for technical service and will be prompted by our trained technicians to assist in troubleshooting the problem over the phone to avoid sending a technician on site if it isn’t essential.

We encourage all customers to work closely with our teams to adjust future orders based on their trending needs or, if applies, to advise quickly on their closures or on any special measures to be taken by our teams during their upcoming deliveries. This will help us effectively adjust our operations while planning appropriate supplies and delivery capabilities.

We share the concern of the global community and hope the virus can be contained and eradicated as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your continued partnership, support and understanding.

Chris McMahon
VP, General Manager