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Show news archive News & Seafood Insight

COVID-19 routines and pre-cautions in the global value chain


As a global organization with a fishing fleet of eight large sea-going vessels, almost 50 production facilities in Greenland, Canada and Germany as well as sales activities on all continents, the Royal Greenland group has a long value chain, where 2.200 employees operate worldwide to keep supplying our customers during the global pandemic crisis.

Central and local task forces for overview and day-to-day adjustments

A small group of key personnel from Quality, Development, Production, Trawler and Personnel Depts. are in close dialogue with healthcare authorities as well as authorities within food administration to stay on top of the latest developments and guidelines. Daily reporting to and discussions with Senior management form the basis for extensive co-ordination across departments and countries.

In all countries and locations local task forces ensure adherence to guidelines and adapt these to the actual situation and risk levels.

The fishing fleet managed as a micro cosmos

The operation of Royal Greenland’s fleet and continuous harvesting of catches are crucial to the business. The fleet is manned by 360 crew members coming primarily from Greenland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Normally the sailing crew changes in a smooth schedule approximately every sixth week.

When COVID-19 reached the North Atlantic hemisphere in mid-March and all international and domestic air travel in the region was shut down, the crisis also meant the cancellation of all crew shifts, and employees had to stay on board for longer than the normal six-week trips. 

All new pre-cautions taken into consideration, the trawler department succeeded in changing 200 crew members in one day in the end of April. The operation was planned meticulously and with valuable guidance from the Patient Safety Authorities in Greenland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. Aircrafts were chartered for the crew change which involved seven vessels in Sisimiut and Nuuk in Greenland and in Tromsø in Norway. All on-boarding crew members had observed two weeks of quarantine and all seven vessels managed to set off for new fishing with a new, healthy crew.

When catches are landed local workers in the ports normally on-board the vessels and work together with the crew in the hold for un-loading. In the present situation no interaction takes place and local workers are not allowed in the galley, restrooms or any other indoor facilities.

Considerable safety and hygiene measures in production

Royal Greenland operates production and packaging of five types of finished product categories in Cuxhaven in Germany, 8 factories in Atlantic Canada and 37 production units in Greenland. In the different countries local guidelines are based on national advice and safety measures. Each plant or facility operate according to risk level 1, 2 3 or 4, where 1 is normal production and 4 is illness among staff or in the nearest family of an employee.

Overall pre-cautions and safety measures are implemented:

  • Clear routines and strict requirements to hand hygiene with hand sanitizers available at all entrances
  • Higher frequency of cleaning both inside production and in social areas (telephones, door handles, coffee machines, dress rooms etc.)
  • Keeping the distance at workplace and in social areas meaning staggered working hours, only dedicated small groups allowed to be in social areas at the same time
  • Having NO physical contact to each other - no handshake
  • Training of all employees
  • Training of external service providers such as cleaning personnel
  • Key employees do when possible not work together physically
  • To the extent possible, administrative employees in production units work from home
  • No visitors, all audits postponed, so far until after September 1st.
  • Posters with information are visible everywhere and employees with the slightest symptoms of illness stay at home

Administrative office functions meet on-line

In all countries local offices have adhered strictly to the national guidelines from authorities and most offices have been more or less shut down for physical attendance. Meetings have to a large extent taken place on-line. As national guidelines in different parts of the world slowly begin to loosen restrictions, so does Royal Greenland. All guidelines for production also apply to offices to the extent relevant. Depending on size of office facilities from headquarters in Nuuk, Greenland to the smaller sales offices with few employees, some key office principles apply, but may of course vary from country to country depending on local guidelines:

  • Week by week plans for increase in attendance at offices
  • As a starting point no visitors allowed
  • Distance between persons must be observed both when standing and seated at desks, in meeting rooms, at lunch etc.
  • If lunch and refreshments are served during the day, single portions are recommended
  • All office doors and doors in shared areas stay open to the extent possible

As for many other companies the COVID-19 pandemic calls for a thorough revision of habits and interaction between employees in the future. On-line meetings and home office facilities have exploded during the last couple of months and will be a more natural part of daily work routines in the future.

Business without a handshake – online with customers

As the COVID-19 has caused cancellation or delay of many fairs and business gatherings, most interaction takes place on-line via meetings or by phone.

For retail and online sales channels your local Royal Greenland contact can assist with a comprehensive overview of product possibilities within our key product categories. 

Furthermore customers stay informed on product opportunities via Royal Greenland’s online web platforms. Here two comprehensive product catalogues are available:

Industrial products catalogue

Industrial products catalogue

Our Industrial products catalogue provides a very flexible overview of our industrial product offerings allowing the user to browse through various species and specifications and to conduct specific searches on e.g. MSC products across categories.

Go to Industrial Products Catalogue

Foodservice products catalogue

Foodservice products catalogue

The Foodservice products catalogue contains more than 300 foodservice items available in many different languages and formats.

Go to foodservice catalogue
Next news: Expanding the base – fishery and purchase