NatureSweet Tomatoes Keep People No. 1 in COVID-19 Response May 5, 2020

NatureSweet Tomatoes Keep People No. 1 in COVID-19 Response

NatureSweet Tomatoes has donated more than 1.3 million pounds of produce to food banks across the US and communities in Mexico, sending family safety kits home with associates (PPE materials, cleaning supplies, and family board games), and donating community safety kits where they operate.

“A shared belief that our wellbeing is dependent upon our decisions and not our circumstances led to the mobilization and delivery of comfort, relief, and hope that it’ll all be OK in the form of small and delicious tomatoes, along with other medical equipment,” said NatureSweet President and CEO Rodolfo Spielmann. “We’re doing everything we can to support our Associates and their families, and we’re prepared to take additional actions as needed. We hope the rest of the tomato industry – and the entire agriculture industry – joins us in raising up these workers who are the life force of our global food system.”

NatureSweet’s efforts include:

Associate Support

  • Safety plan implementation including temperature checkpoints, additional PPE, sanitation, and social distancing inside our facilities – including rearranging our cafeteria layouts and adding shifts to reduce contact. Transportation is provided to and from work, with additional buses to service routes so fewer people are on each bus.
  • Special bonuses and sundries for front-line workers
  • Thank you lunches each Friday, in accordance to social distancing guidelines, to serve Associates a special lunch and snack to show our gratitude for their service.
  • Paid-leave compensation for at-risk associates

Family Support

  • Family safety kits to keep associates’ families safe. Kits include five face masks, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, soaps, disinfectant, and a spray bottle, along with a letter to families and instructions for use of the kits.
  • Associate family support including shipments of board games, contests, and other entertainment home with associates.

Community Support

  • Community safety kits including goggles, face masks and other protective gear, which is a critical need in the areas where our greenhouses operate.
  • Up to $5,000,000 in product donations to food banks and indigenous community organizations in Atlanta and several cities in Texas, including Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo and San Antonio.

In addition to increasing its already comprehensive cleaning and food safety policies, the company is also focused on production, and is hiring additional employees to ensure no gaps in supply occur during this time when consumers are relying so heavily on grocery stores. NatureSweet uses a proprietary growing system and packaging, which is helpful as consumers are encouraged to make fewer trips to the grocery store but also desire fresh produce.

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