VPA Australia management have been briefed this week by DFAT, Trade Investment Queensland and the Australian China Business Council as to the current and ongoing risks and complications posed by the coronavirus outbreak. We are briefed multiple times a week by Queensland Health regarding what VPA needs to be doing to mitigate the risk to our staff.
If Covid-19 is similar to the flu, why is there so much concern?
- At this stage there is no commercially available vaccine for Coronavirus.
- Covid-19 has a higher mortality and hospitalisation rate compared to the flu. It poses a very high risk to the elderly and those with pre-exisiting medical conditions. For every death, DFAT estimates 5 intensive care and 20 hospital beds to be filled.
- The mutation and life-cycle of the virus is unknown.
- Coronavirus poses a large commercial risk. There will be a huge impact on supply chains for virtually every company on the planet. Without accurate data/forecasts as to when these delays will abate. These risks have gone to countries outside of Asia, including European countries and Australia.
How will the Coronavirus / Covid-19 affect VPA?
Here are a few examples of issues which VPA will/may face over the next 3-12 months.
- We may experience delays in production and shipping from our usual suppliers. VPA will mitigate this risk by having generic packaging on hand to use if needed.
- Australian manufacturers of scoops and plastic bottles will also be effected as most supply chains originate in China for raw material for these products.
- Please be patient and understanding as some items “may” arrive in generic packaging (properly marked with FSANZ appropriate labelling) in the latter half of the year.
Amino acid supply:
- We are pleased to say that NONE of our suppliers are located in the Wuhan region.
- Our current suppliers for amino acids have and will continue to experience delays. We deal with large pharmaceutical manufacturers that supply much of the worlds formulated supplementary foods market so these supply chains may be disrupted resulting in price increases for these products.
- These items will have a direct impact in both the short and long term. Many apparel and accessory items are made across mainland China and distributed through large cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou.
- Regardless of which country these products are manufactured in, supply chains will be disrupted and prices may increase.
Capsule and tablet supply:
- We will be discontinuing sales of these products due to new TGA regulations.
Flavour and Protein Supply:
- There is no immediate threat in both the short and medium term.
- VPA management travel to China and other parts of the world as a part of procurement procedures. This will most likely not occur in 2020.
Can the coronavirus be spread through food products such as health supplements?
Transmission through food is unlikely and there is no evidence of this occurring with novel coronavirus to date. See document here for further information. As an export-grade production facility, VPA already has the highest hygiene standards in place for our production staff. In addition, VPA management have introduced several new procedures and policies to minimise the risk to our staff.
What should we be doing to minimise risk?
Please follow all government advice regarding travel, social-isolation and attendance at places and events. This advice is updated almost daily and this is why VPA is not relaying it here.
Please note the comments on this page are provided for the users of our website (www.vpa.com.au) and stakeholders. It is informational in nature. Please seek professional advice for issues pertinent to yourself or company.
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