Adapting food manufacturing operations during COVID-19
Postponed: EHEDG World Congress 2020
Dear EHEDG Members,
The world has been taken unexpectedly by the spread of the Corona virus which has created a huge problem for people, organisations and businesses around the world, also for EHEDG.
EHEDG has since long been engaged in planning our landmark to take place in Munich from 14 to 15 October 2020, jointly with our annual Plenary Meeting on the day in advance (only for EHEDG Advisory Board members, Executive Committee Members as well as EHEDG Regional & Working Group Chairpersons).
The congress team, led by Dr. Jürgen Hofmann, supported by our office manager Susanne Flenner and our treasurer Piet Steenaard, and many others, have been working for months with the planning of the events, making hotel reservations, congress facility reservations, sponsor engagements as well as with the recruitment of high quality speakers, in order for EHEDG to host a fantastic event. The plan was to organise the largest congress ever in the history of EHEDG. During last weeks, the team has arrived at the conclusion that it would be too risky to proceed with holding this major event in 2020, under the present circumstances and with the uncertainty that will prevail during the weeks or even months to come.
After careful consideration and given the available options, it has been decided that the EHEDG World Congress will be postponed to23 to 24 June 2021 combined with the internal EHEDG Plenary Meeting on 22 June 2021 at the Science Congress Center in Munich-Garching. We kindly ask you to firmly schedule these dates in your calendar. The Plenary Meeting planned for 13 October 2020 is still on, but probably as a web-based meeting. We will keep you informed as soon as more details are known.
On behalf of EHEDG I wish you all a safe and quick recovery from the Corona pandemic and hope to seeing you soon again in good health.
EHEDG Communications in times of Corona
Primary objectives of EHEDG activities
By means of its hygienic engineering and design guidelines, certification schemes, training and education offerings and communication practices, EHEDG contributes to food safety and food quality worldwide. EHEDG does this in a consensus-driven manner, in the general interest of yielding the highest value for all stakeholders in the food supply chain.
Basic Communication Standpoints
1. As an independent non-profit foundation operated primarily by volunteers, EHEDG is not responsible nor liable for the way companies apply the contents of its product portfolio.
2. EHEDG is not responsible nor liable for any communication activities, opinions or other statements issued by affiliated members companies, institutes and individual members, even when they suggest to speak on behalf of EHEDG.
3. EHEDG is not legally responsible nor liable for the health and wellbeing of food industry employees and/or food consumers. Therefore, EHEDG members should always foremost comply with and rely on the regulations issued by their respective companies, even if these do not align or even contradict with the contents of EHEDG Guidelines.
Communications directives in times of Corona
Supporting safe food production and safe working circumstances
As the Covid-19 pandemic will likely raise new questions and public concern regarding the safety of food products and of employees of the food industry, it is particularly important to adhere to the following communication directives to protect the EHEDG brand and reputation.
1. Never feel obliged to comment on statements made by other EHEDG affiliated members companies, institutes or individual members, since EHEDG itself does not represent, nor is responsible or liable for statements of its affiliated members.
2. In response to questions related to the Coronavirus, feel free to state that EHEDG is willing to share any expertise that is available in its expert network community to support regulators, the academia and the food industry.
3. Besides exchanging expertise and best practices to support food safety and quality, EHEDG also offers a communication platform to support communication across all food supply chain stakeholders who are interested in exchanging best practices on how to better protect the health of food food industry employees and food consumers.
Apart from its product portfolio services and support offerings as mentioned above, EHEDG does not claim to represent any know-how related to Covid-19 induced health risks.
Contact for questions
For questions that fall out of above restrictions, members are welcome to forward these to the EHEDG leadership who will be helpful in providing a response. Contact and these will be forwarded to a responsible member of the ExCo. Mark the email ‘Corona Communication’.
EHEDG Membership Services 2020: resilient and robust
1. EHEDG Leadership Operations
All planned face-to-face EHEDG Executive Committee, EHEDG Advisory Board and EHEDG Sub-Committee meetings are replaced by web conference meetings. The EHEDG Leadership Team does at this point not expect any delay in the transition process of the transition
2. EHEDG Secretariat Operations
The EHEDG Secretariat, consisting of four staff members, of which three are located in the VDMA main office building in Frankfurt and one staff member (the EHEDG Certification Officer) in The Netherlands, continues to operates effectively by making good use of existing online communication and collaboration options. All staff members work mainly from home while having full access to their office systems.
3. EHEDG Guideline Availability
EHEDG Guidelines continue to be freely available for download by all EHEDG members via the web shop on the EHEDG.org website (no adaptations needed here). New EHEDG Guideline publications are announced via the EHEDG social media channels and the EHEDG Connects online publication platform.
4. EHEDG Guideline Development
EHEDG Working Groups consistently continue to develop and update new EHEDG Guideline Documents. EHEDG Working Group meetings take place exclusively in web conference calls, coordinated by the EHEDG Secretariat. Since most working groups were already accustomed to web conferencing tools, the number of workflow adaptations necessary to comply with social distancing recommendations were fairly limited and swiftly implemented. All new EHEDG Working Group web conferences are planned and organised by the EHEDG Secretariat. Please contact the Secretariat in time to claim your teleconferencing slot.
5. EHEDG Certification Services
Most EHEDG Authorized Testing Laboratories (ATLs) and Authorized Evaluation Officers (AEOs) are open for business and continue to offer their equipment certification services as usual. EHEDG certification procedures are in place. However, due to potential workflow adaptations in the laboratories, some delays in the handling of the certification applications can be expected. Since AEOs and ATLs operate as independent contractors, it is up to their own discretion to adjust their services to their own regional needs and regulations.
6. EHEDG Training & Education
EHEDG issued a total ban on all face-to-face training courses, workshops and seminars as long as travelling limitations are in place. EHEDG encourages EHEDG Authorized Trainers to provide Webinars on specific topics, under the supervision of the EHEDG Product Portfolio Sub-Committee and the EHEDG Training & Education Working Group.
With best regards,
Chair EHEDG Sub-Committee Product Portfolio
EHEDG Conferencing Code of Conduct
· Take notes, preferably on paper.
· Avoid noise from coffee cups, pens, typing or rustling paper.
· Speak slowly and clearly.
· Pay attention to the moderator's instructions.
· Let others complete their sentences.