Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has encouraged members to develop a contingency plan to ensure the welfare of their stock is not compromised if family or staff become unwell, in light of the challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The organisation said that developing a contingency plan can provide a clear, documented emergency plan which will highlight potential risks and a list of key contacts, and that having a plan in place will help them to prepare for the unexpected and ensure that health and welfare standards are maintained by all stakeholders that are part of the ‘whole chain’ assurance scheme.
Kathryn Kerr, head of brands integrity at QMS urged members to update or develop contingency plans to prevent Covid-19 from affecting their business.
QMS introduced a remote assessment tool in April 2020 as part of their five-point plan for assurance assessments during COVID-19. As restrictions eased, physical assessments were re-introduced in early July and are now default for the assessment process.
Ms Kerr added that The option for remote assessing is still available for those members that are unable to accommodate a physical assessment due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Ms Kerr also added: “Members of the assurance schemes have adapted very well during these uncertain times. Moving forward, we are hoping that the remote tools can continue to be used to reduce the amount of time required on site and allow the focus to be aimed at the physical elements of the assessments.”
A contingency plan template can be found on the Quality Meat Scotland website www.qmscotland.co.uk under the respective assurance scheme.