VPA Coronavirus Updates - VPA Australia
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A message from the CEO:

  1. Business as usual for our 3 warehouses (Ingleburn, Brendale and Sunshine West).
  2. All orders will be shipped out each day - and delivered by our couriers.
  3. As an essential service (food processor and supplier) and offering home delivery, our supply will continue as per normal.

Note:

  • Border shut downs do not effect delivery and freight logistic networks.
  • Outside of the systems that we have put in place (Read below), there are no changes to operations.

Procedures currently in place at VPA:

  1. Protection of staff - non contact deliveries and dispatch procedures in place
  2. Protection of staff - Daily bleach sanitation of all common surfaces twice a day.
  3. Protection of staff - compulsory hand washing for all staff on site (including office staff) when entering the facility.
  4. Protection of staff - Compulsory temperature checks and hand washing procedures for any essential visitors to site.
  5. Protection of dispatch couriers - all non-essential signature items are free to be left without signature (photo verification).
  6. Protection of staff - Work from home practise ; our entire office staff will practise work from home arrangements from 12/03/2020.
  7. All non-essential travel and contact has been stopped.

Wednesday 15/04/2020

  • Signs of the curve flattening however restrictions will remain in place for the near future.

Sunday 29/03/2020

  • Group training (i.e. boot camps) and outdoor gyms cancelled nationwide.
  • One on one gym training outside is still possible (with 1.5m spacing).
  • Outside gatherings restricted to 2 people (outside of essential services)  
  • Am I allowed to walk/run? - yes, provided you stay 1.5m away from others and do not stop to chat with others.

Thursday 26/3/2020

  • Stage 3 briefing meeting with Australia Post - no restriction on home delivery at this stage for food manufacturers.
  • VPA are receiving daily updates from Australia Post at 11am and 4pm each day, so will do our best to keep you

Sunday 22/3/2020

  • Stage 2 - Gyms to close from midday Monday 23/3/2020 nationwide (assessed each month till further notice).

Friday 20/03/2020

Mental Health identified as a key issue facing people at the moment. Here's some practical tips to help you whilst still maintaining social distancing/isolation:

  • start your day by reading a book or going for a walk, rather than checking the news or your social media feed
  • set a limit on how many times you check the news each day, and how long you spend reading about the issue
  • politely decline talking about the crisis if you would prefer not to
  • avoid checking the news before going to bed, especially on your phone or TV.
  • enjoy time with your kids(including furry kids) or loved ones. Practise mindfulness and stay in the moment.

Thursday 19/3/2020

  • AUD drop from 0.69 to 0.55 USD - means that all amino acids will need to increase in price by 15% across the board in a few months.
  • The same applies to packaging in the future.
  • Despite purchasing in AUD, the demand from a stronger USD will also push milk prices up in future months as contracts are negotiated.

Wednesday 18/3/2020

City of Sydney Council Gyms closed

Wednesday 18/03/2020

Three things VPA Management have learnt from Covid-19

1. Risk Management Frameworks are Important

Whilst our risk management framework has a section to cover "infectious disease", it was honestly just three pages of policy writing at it's best. We have robust procedures for flood, fire and many other external risks to the business; however, in practical terms there were no detailed checklists to cater for something like Covid-19. We're happy to say that within a 7 day period, our legal advisors and food technician staff were able to create detailed frameworks (down to ingredient requirements for sanitising of surfaces if an outbreak were to occur) to cover such incidents. If you fail to plan, plan to fail. These will be revised each week as this unfolds.

2. Insurance doesn't cover "Quarantinable disease (Quarantine Act 1908)"

Yikes, this was quite a tense phone conversation as our insurance brokers delivered the bad news. Touch wood, we will not have to make insurance claims; however, as with 99% of business policy coverage (relating to infectious disease), once the disease is marketed as quarantinable (Jan 23, 2020 in Australia) your insurance coverage does not mean a lot. It's similar to an "Act of God" occurence. A very mean and Angry God.  

3. Communication is EVERYTHING

We continue to have regular meetings/updates with suppliers, experts, authorities, staff and most importantly our customers to keep them updated as to the rapidly changing environment regarding Covid-19. These communication templates have been built into our risk management framework and we whilst we hope to never have to use them in future, they are now an integral part of the VPA corporate framework. Something makes us think we will continue to learn over the next 6 months.

Tuesday 17/03/2020

Procedures currently in place at VPA:

  • Protection of staff - non contact deliveries and dispatch procedures in place
  • Protection of staff - Daily bleach sanitation of all common surfaces twice a day.
  • Protection of staff - compulsory hand washing for all staff on site (including office staff) when entering the facility.
  • Protection of staff - Compulsory temperature checks and hand washing procedures for any essential visitors to site.
  • Protection of dispatch couriers - all non-essential signature items are free to be left without signature (photo verification)
  • Protection of staff - Work from home practise ; our entire office staff will practise work from home arrangements from Thursday this week.
  • All non-essential travel and contact has been stopped.

Sunday 15/03/2020

  • Still ok to go to they gym as per the Federal Government - read here.

Friday 13/03/2020

  • Australia Post - signature on delivery procedure change- read here.

Thursday 12/03/2020

Should we be stockpiling supps

  • In relation to Amino acid it would be alarmist of us require restrictions on amino acid supply.

How do they know how many people will be infected?

  • It's all mathematics (geeks rule!) - so for anyone that has done an "Advanced Statistics" course (or similar) you will be well aware that many of the questions in your exam would be virus, cell duplication, vaccine related. Why? - it's simple, the spread of viruses is just a mathematically model with a number of variables. Intelligent people work out these variables.

Is it safe to to go to the gym?

  • Let's go back to the mathematics above. At this stage - absolutely. The federal government will access these mathematical models on a daily basis and only if they are losing the battle with the virus will a total quarantine be declared.
  • Not unless you're 50+ or have a secondary ailment that reduces your immunity or respiratory capability (severe asthma, cancer etc).  
  • Think about others - you may not be on of the people mentioned above, but you also don't want to spread the virus if you have these symptoms.
  • Self isolate and recover. Put on Netflix/Stan and watch everything on there (not Contagion or Outbreak;-).
  • We will reach a stage (possibly already there) where self assessment of symptoms will not suffice. If you have any symptoms you will need to be tested and self isolate (in that order).
  • This is not advisable as your body needs time to rest and recuperate. You will be training in self isolation in any case!
  • Will most likely be restricted in the short/medium term by federal governments around the world?
  • This would mean that all public venues including gyms would be closed until further notification. Italy has restricted hrs of "total quarantine" in place.
  • "Slow to act" is the common phrase being mentioned at this stage. The virus was passed to too many carriers before self isolation and quarantine was declared a necessity.
  • Lots of flights in and out of countries on a daily basis

What is the Government assistance announced 12/3/2020?

  • Don't care - these will be super spreaders that will continue their normal lives regardless of their symptoms
  • Self Isolators - good citizens. Be like these guys if you have symptoms or test positive.
  • Know it alls - see "Don't care" above.
  • Bronwyn Bishop - the Chinese government released the vaccine to de-stabilise the Western world
  • Anthony Mundine - mass vaccine will come out by big pharma
  • Accident - a facility close to Wuhan sea food market accidentally released the virus into the population
  • Yes.

Whose advice should I follow?

Wednesday 26/02/2020

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 Coronavirus.

What is Coronavirus?

If Cornavirus is similar to the flu, why is there so much concern?

  • Human risk - no commercially available vaccine.
  • Human risk - higher mortality and hospitalisation rate. For every death, DFAT estimates 5 intensivee care and 20 hospital beds to be filled.
  • Human risk - mutation and life-cycle of the virus is unknown
  • Commercial risk - 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 Coronavirus effect VPA?

  • Here are a few examples of issues which will/may face over the next 3-12 months.

Packaging:

  • VPA will mitigate this risk by having generic packaging on hand in order to cope with said delays.
  • Australian manufacturers of scoops and plastic bottles will also be effected as most supply chains originate in China for raw material of 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 (a State in China which has active travel bans including vehicles, trains and planes).
  • However, our suppliers for amino acids have and will continue to experience delays (many people still working from home in China). 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.

Accessories and Apparel:

  • 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:

  • See Amino Acid supply above.

Flavour and Protein Supply:

  • No immediate threat in both the short and medium term.

Travel Restrictions:

  • 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 Coronavirus be spread through food products such as health supplements?

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.