We are all just realizing how the Corona crisis is affecting many facets of our lives. Let’ see how Andrea Zangara, Head of Scientific Communications & Marketing from Euromed (Spain), one of the leaders in the nutraceuticals and pharma industries is dealing with the current challenges, how he assesses the future consequences for the industry, what lessons he can already learn and much more.
- What measures does your company take to ensure the health of the employees?
Euromed gives the highest priority to the health and wellbeing of its employees, valued customers and service providers. We have been closely monitoring the ever-increasing global distribution of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are following recommendations by national and regional governmental authorities, and implementing corporate practices to try and mitigate its impact through careful planning and extreme diligence. Since the early global news reports surrounding the outbreak, management have implemented new enhanced sterilization practices in our manufacturing facilities. We have segregated staff from different work shifts, with facility sterilization between shifts to avoid unnecessary workforce exposure. Additional protective equipment has been provided to staff.
This includes laboratory personnel and manufacturing staff who need to be on-site and are therefore unable to work remotely. Euromed is a GMP certified manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APis), in addition to numerous other industrial certifications. We maintain a maximum standard of cleanliness and sterility in our warehouses, extraction facilities and laboratories.
Office staff who can work from home to avoid close co-worker contact have, for the near future, been instructed to do so. Non-essential company meetings are being conducted by video conference call, and non-essential employee travel has been prohibited.
- How do you estimate the consequences particularly for your industry ̶ in the short and long run?
It is early to estimate the long-term consequences for our industry. The negative economic impact from widespread loss of employment is yet to be felt in the natural product industry. Immune system-enhancing dietary supplements are currently in great demand. Euromed is experiencing increased demand for extracts such as echinacea in response to brisk sales of our customers’ immune health formulations. Euromed has long-standing relationships with farmers cultivating botanicals under contract. Wildcrafted herbs are available in limited quantities and, therefore, a good business partnership between extractors and their raw material suppliers is essential. The natural products industry is cyclical, and this positive economic business environment will last until consumer concern over the risk of coronavirus infection subsides.
- How does the crisis affect your production and supply chains? How do you counteract the crisis effects?
We are focused on meeting the business challenges this outbreak has caused, and are prepared to respond to changing conditions.The activity of Euromed, as a company classified within the CNAE 2110 code and as a "Manufacturer of basic pharmaceuticals", is considered ESSENTIAL. In addition to this, activities related to the “Manufacture of homogenized food preparations and diet foods as well as other food products” are also considered essential. Euromed has been working since the outbreak to build inventory in its US warehouse. Recently it was announced that there will be a smaller number of flights between Europe and the US. We will be expediting shipments from our production facilities to the US to try and minimize future logistical delays. We normally maintain a two-year supply of botanical raw materials in our warehouses, with some exceptions where that’s not possible. We also have alternative sources of raw material supply in the event of supply chain disruption.
- Any further personal statements, thoughts, or experiences?
Supply disruption might cause other issues such as adulteration. Quality-conscious companies have policies that strictly exclude the use of adulterated botanical extracts. However, when there is significant demand for a limited supply of botanical extracts, this opens the door for adulterated material to enter the supply chain. Euromed is committed to fighting adulteration, and has been manufacturing premium botanical extracts for almost 50 years with pharmaceutical-grade quality control and state-of-the-art equipment.