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Oil mills: coronavirus emergency measures hit factories hard

March 12, 2020 9:26 AM, Der AUDITOR
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PRAGUE. In illustrating the effects the government's containment policy has on an oil mill in the Czech Republic the challenges the industry as a whole are confronted with become apparent.

Staff, however, report that although many employees are staying at home, short-term measures have been introduced to ensure that operations do not come to a standstill. There is no problem with affected office staff working from home, but the shortage of skilled workers on the machines has to be compensated. Part-time employees are, therefore, required to work full-time and office staff, who worked on the machines in the past, are held to support them if possible. Truck drivers are immediately sent to a doctor at the first sign of physical discomfort, who then test them for corona.

In addition, the closure of educational institutions and the suspension of all events with more than 100 participants present a problem for caterers. Caterers, who supply for schools and events, are losing orders, which also cuts the demand for sunflower and rapeseed oil. Orders are being cancelled. The current situation has so far failed to have a noted impact on vegetable oil prices. Prices remain stable and production is running smoothly. Concerns are, nevertheless, being voiced that one corona case in the factory or a significant shortage of skilled workers may force the factory to close. If several oil mills across Europe are affected, rising prices and supply squezzes cannot be ruled out. Quarantines and other measures also present considerable challenges in logistics.

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