The need to supply the domestic and international markets with fruits and vegetables at a time when the demand for these products has increased across Europe due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19 is leading companies from Almería to work extra hard, keeping their production structures at full capacity.
This is the case of Unica Group, the largest horticultural marketer in Spain, which is supplying more than two million kilos daily in order to guarantee the supply of fresh products for consumers, according to its CEO, Enrique de los Ríos.
De los Ríos says that security measures have been introduced these days in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and thus continue its activity.
In addition to all the measures to prevent occupational hazards, Unica has given training talks to all personnel in its warehouses and has made thermometers available to its employees, so that the temperature of the workers can be measured before coming to work.
In some warehouses, disused lines have been enabled to ensure that the safety distance is respected (minimum one meter), and in others, the personnel and, in turn, the number of orders have been reduced.
Shifts have been established to go to breakfast and lunch, thereby avoiding crowds. More hydroalcohol dispensers have been enabled, and the disinfection of the work areas in the warehouses has been intensified between shifts and at the end of the day. Access to toilets is also kept under control, so that not too many people use them at the same time. In turn, internal disinfection protocols have been established for keyboards, touch devices, and others that have to be used by more than one person.
Access to the warehouses has been banned to any outside person, including agricultural producers. Entry will only be allowed when strictly necessary and properly uniformed (coat, hat, gloves and mask), washing their hands before entry or disinfecting themselves with hydroalcohol in the devices enabled for this purpose.
Meanwhile, agricultural producers receive the delivery documents through a computer application in order to avoid physical contact.
"We have more than 5,000 producers, 5,000 warehouse employees and 12,000 workers in the field committed to supplying healthy products," says De los Ríos, who insists that "we are taking extreme precautions to avoid any type of problem. We have improved the working and clothing protocols and everyone in the Unica team is still at their posts.”