Essential Business Update – Covid-19 – updated 13 August 2020

Event Date: 26th September, 2020

An email from MBIE dated Thursday 13 August 2020

Hi Emma,

We are writing to ask if you can please pass on the important information below to your members.  This has been sent to us from the Ministry of Health to send to key industry memberships groups.

Today the Government has issued the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Levels 3 and 2) Order 2020 to manage any further spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

The Order includes a requirement during Alert Levels 2 and 3 for all businesses and services:

to display the official government QR code for the NZ COVID Tracer App, and

have systems and processes in place to otherwise support contact tracing for people who do not scan in with the NZ COVID Tracer app (such as a pen-and-paper register or a digital sign-in system).

These contact tracing requirements come into force at 11:59am on 19 August 2020.

If you have not already generated an official QR code poster for each of your premises, you will need to get your posters before this time through the webform at: https://qrform.tracing.covid19.govt.nz/

To use the webform, you will need:

a valid New Zealand driver licence so your identity can be verified

the address details for each of your premises

your email address

an email address and contact phone number for each of your locations.

If your business has a large number of premises or the person filling in the form does not have a driver licence, they can also get your official QR codes by sending a completed template to the NZ COVID Tracer support team at help@covidtracer.min.health.nz.

Please note you need to create a separate poster for each of your premises or unique locations, but can print as many copies of each poster as you need for each premises. Print your posters in A4 and in colour (if possible).

Make sure to put your posters on display in prominent locations next to every entrance. If you can, place a poster on the left-hand side of your front window or entrance, with the top approximately 130cm from the ground. Please see Tips displaying your NZ COVID Tracer poster for further guidance.

You can find further information about the QR codes on the Ministry of Health website. Further information about the requirements and restrictions for businesses during Alert Levels 2 and 3 can be found on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Regards

Michael

Michael Henstock
Principal Advisor, Private Sector Engagement

An email from the Directory General of Health on 3 July 2020

Kia ora koutou

Over the last few months, we’ve all pulled together to unite against COVID-19 and stop the spread of the virus within New Zealand. However, COVID-19 is a serious pandemic that continues to affect many countries around the world, and we must continue to be vigilant.

As part of our protection against the spread of COVID-19 it’s important we all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen. This will help ensure that if needed, our contact tracing team can quickly identify and isolate anyone who may be exposed to the virus

The NZ COVID Tracer app supports contact tracing by allowing New Zealanders to create a digital diary of the places they’ve been. Over half a million New Zealanders have downloaded the app, and every day more businesses and organisations are getting on board by displaying the official QR codes.

We recently introduced a new self-service webform to make it really easy to generate the QR codes, and there’s a bulk-upload option for businesses and organisations that have a large number of premises.

I encourage you to support your members to generate and continue to display the QR codes on their premises during Alert Level 1. This is an important tool to speed up the contact tracing process in the event of a further outbreak of COVID-19.

You can find a range of further information on our website at www.health.govt.nz/nz-covid-tracer-qr, and the team is also available to help with any queries on 0800 800 606 or at help@covidtracer.min.health.nz.

Ngâ mihi nui

Ashley

Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Director-General of Health

email: ashley.bloomfield@health.govt.nz
www.health.govt.nz


22 April 2020

Response from MBIE received 1:30 pm

Good afternoon Emma,

Thank you for your email and our apologies for the delay in responding to you. MBIE has received a large volume of queries during the Alert Level 4 period and we appreciate your patience.

Food delivery, other than cooked meals such as takeaways, is allowed. This includes supermarket home delivery, food parcels from charitable organisations, frozen pre-prepared meals, subscription food boxes or any other whole-food delivery service). Meals-on-Wheels may continue to deliver prepared food.

Shopfronts are not permitted to open during the Alert Level 4 period. Interactions between people must be limited as much as possible during Level 4, and the products (or close substitutes) from these stores are available at supermarkets and dairies.

Contactless delivery of whole foods is permitted during the Alert Level 4 period. This includes delivery to consumers’ homes, and for the supply of supermarkets, dairies, and whole-food delivery providers. Operations must follow strict COVID-19 health guidelines, orders must be taken online or via telephone, and delivery must not involve any interaction with the receiver.

Whole foods include bread, meat, fish, coffee, fruit and vegetables, and specifically excludes cooked or prepared foods such as takeaways.

If businesses choose to continue to operate, they need to ensure it is done in a way that limits the transmission of COVID-19 by taking the following measures:

·        minimise or eliminate if possible, physical interactions amongst staff and with and between customers

·        ensure appropriate health, hygiene and safety measures are in place

·        restrict activity to only what is essential during the Alert 4 period.

These practices may include:

·        working from home as far as possible

·        limiting, or eliminating if possible, physical interaction between staff, eg through physical distancing, split shifts, staggered meal breaks and flexible working arrangements

·        limiting, or eliminating if possible, physical interaction with and between customers, eg through online or phone orders, contactless delivery or managed entry (while also avoiding crowding outside), and physical distancing both inside and outside the premises

·        hygiene basics of handwashing and sanitisers

·        frequent cleaning of premises, especially counters and EFTPOS terminals, and other high-touch surfaces

·        protective equipment for staff as appropriate.

Please continue to check the COVID19 page for updates and details on how to limit public health risks: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/essential-businesses/

Kind regards,

COVID-19 Response team

15 Stout Street, Wellington 6140 | New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Enterprise


15 April 2020

Response from MBIE received 3:44 pm

Dear David Burton

Advice is being updated regularly. Roasters can continue to sell to supermarkets and dairies and direct to customers online. Provided they are selling products that are for home use only. Supermarkets and dairies (or other business) cannot prepare drinks (hot or cold) onsite for immediate consumption.

All roasters will also need to operate in accordance with the guidelines set out below:

You may continue to operate, as long as it is done in a way that limits the transmission of COVID-19 by taking the following measures:

– minimise, or eliminate if possible, physical interactions amongst staff and with and between customers,

– ensure appropriate health, hygiene and safety measures are in place,

–  restrict activity to only what is essential during the Alert 4 period.

These practices may include:

– working from home as far as possible

– limiting, or eliminating if possible, physical interaction between staff, eg through physical distancing, split shifts, staggered meal breaks and flexible working arrangements

– limiting, or eliminating if possible, physical interaction with and between customers, eg through online or phone orders, contactless delivery or managed entry (while also avoiding crowding outside), and physical distancing both inside and outside the premises

– hygiene basics of handwashing and sanitisers

– frequent cleaning of premises, especially counters and EFTPOS terminals, and other high-touch surfaces

– protective equipment for staff as appropriate.

Please continue to check the COVID19 page for updates and details on how to limit public health risks at https://covid19.govt.nz/

Kind regards

COVID-19 Response team

15 Stout Street, Wellington 6140 | New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Enterprise


2 April 2020

Dear Members,

Firstly a hearty thank you for all your positive comments. Information and communication in these times is gold and getting information that is both current and clear has been extremely difficult.

To date, we have not received a reply in writing from MBIE to my email, currently on the NZSCA website.  They have stated on the phone that as information changes so quickly, they are unable to provide written statements. We have been notified by a fellow member that has been in conversation with MBIE:

“Our team also contacted MBIE directly and were given enough assurance (the operator was a volunteer but was also confident) that given we were following the strict MPI procedures around ‘bubble management’, Health and Safety procedures, and registration, we could begin trading directly with the end consumer.”

This was also based on the following:

Additional decisions and exemptions – updated 8 am, 1 April 2020
The section below refers, we believe, to New Zealand roasters specifically.

Food delivery other than cooked prepared meals such as takeaways is allowed (eg supermarket home delivery, food parcels from charitable organisations, subscription food boxes, or any other whole-food delivery service). Meals-on-Wheels may continue to deliver prepared food.

Paying particular adherence to this line: Ordering, payment and delivery must be contactless and the business must operate safely within the general health guidelines such as physical separation and hygiene.

After reviewing this, and seeking legal counsel, we feel confident in reopening our store.”

Given MBIE has not contacted us, we are not in a position to advise or recommend.

The decision around on-line sales is one you need to make on an individual basis.
Should you decide to engage with on-line sales, PLEASE ensure the safety of everyone involved.

We acknowledge that this has been a roller coaster ride! Buckle up as there may be more loops, twists and turns around the corner. Thank you for your patience and support. Please look after each other. Be kind, stay safe and we will soon be together again drinking delicious coffee.

David Burton
President


Dear New Zealand Coffee Industry, A message from David Burton 1 April 2020

Earlier this week we communicated to you all, outlining the response received from MBIE regarding all of our online sales being excluded from the definition of a New Zealander’s essential service.

As we detailed; yes – there are a lot of grey areas.

However, as the NZSCA, we perhaps should have come back and given us all clarity on what the response means, in black and white.

You’ll find the letter we sent to MBIE via below.

The letter clearly referenced:

– the role we all play in the food and beverage sector in supplying thousands of small kiwi businesses;

– the two categories we fall under (MPI/MBIE);

– the crucial commercial importance of online channels operating during Level 4 Alert;

– the perishable nature of our product/s;

– lack of BC insurance due to most of us experiencing the “pandemic clause”; and

– the role resuming online sales could play in keeping kiwi’s at home, even while couriers have verbally agreed that they have the capacity for public deliveries.

With the loss of everyday cafe culture, online would enable kiwis to enjoy a little normality, even if standing at their kitchen bench.

You’ll see we directly asked for consideration to be given to allowing NZ coffee roasteries the ability to resume online sales – directly to the public.

As provided in my last update, we are not allowed to:

– Sell coffee directly to members of the public; or

– Fulfil our subscription services orders if they’re being sent to members of the public.

As a collective, we have a responsibility to our customers: wholesale, cafe, retail and even online to keep ourselves, and their family’s health safe by continuing to follow instructions from the government and relevant agencies, and operating within the guidelines. We are continuing to negotiate with MPI and MBIE regarding this issue.

We are also aware that a number of roasters have enlisted the help of NZTE and possibly other influential agencies. We will admit, that now we have asked for permission, it will be very difficult to seek forgiveness from MBIE and MPI.
We ask that all of us respect the latest advice received while continuing to work together in an effort to get online channels approved for all of us to benefit.

If any of us receive updates or information that could help the NZSCA in negotiating with government agencies, please send it through as soon as possible to info@nzsca.org

We thank you all for your ongoing support and collaboration.

Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding the issue of online sales, or anything else.

Take care and keep in touch,

David Burton
President


This is the email that we emailed to MBIE:

Dear MBIE

As President of the New Zealand Speciality Coffee Association, I am writing to you on behalf of all Kiwi coffee roasters.

As an industry, we are very respectful of your reasoning and applaud the decisions made by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to keep NZ safe and ensure we break the chain of community transmission. In addition, we are proud of our Government’s pro-active response, as we watch other countries struggle to contain the pandemic.

Under the current circumstances, our members fall into two categories:

Medium to larger roasters who supply supermarkets and dairies, and are MPI certified.

Smaller roasters many of whom have staffing under 5 and would functionally operate within the MPI’s COVID-19 safe practices.

Last week we received correspondence from MBIE via one of our members.

“Food suppliers, including coffee roasters, are only permitted to supply supermarkets and dairies during Alert Level 4. You cannot supply the general public, even online at the moment. Couriers should be working to essential business only at this moment.”

Last week there was a dramatic spike in the number of parcels for courier delivery.

We believe this was due to panic buying through the online channels. Something we have also seen throughout New Zealand at most supermarkets.

Courier companies have commented to me that this spike was likely to drop off as many online companies heed the warning from MBIE and closed down their websites. This was certainly the case for coffee roasters, many of whom now will hunker down with whatever revenue they have retained while hoping for the best.

Coffee and cafe culture in New Zealand is fundamental to community life.

Coffee Roasters supply every cafe in New Zealand. There are thousands of businesses dependent on roasteries surviving and continuing to provide them with coffee and support.

Online sales are crucial to allow many of these businesses to survive the storm, while at the same time allowing the NZ workforce to experience normality in their daily cup of coffee – be it at home at the dining table/office, or in the car on the way to their shift at your local supermarket or essential service.

There are a number of coffee companies who have large amounts of stock and are capable of fulfilling their customer’s subscriptions and online orders. This stock is perishable with a limited shelf life, and in many cases – no insurance under the pandemic clauses.

After speaking with a number of them, we know that couriers have the capacity and empty roads for the next month.

In summary, I am asking for you to consider allowing NZ coffee companies the ability to resume online sales – direct to the public.

There are perhaps twenty or thirty coffee companies (mainly multinational corporations) in your supermarket aisle. However, the other two hundred-odd NZ roasteries that are small and local will experience a devastating impact without online sales.

Concurrently, permitting roasteries to sell online to the public will reduce the pressure on supermarkets, encourage the public to stay home as opposed to heading out while giving the food and beverage sector a stronger position for recovery.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly regarding this topic.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

David Burton

President of the NZSCA


Dear New Zealand Coffee industry

This is the latest update from MBIE at 8 pm 30 March 2020:

Food suppliers, including coffee roasters, are only permitted to supply supermarkets and dairies during Alert Level 4. You cannot supply the general public, even online at the moment.  Couriers should be working to essential business only at this moment.  

You can find information on what constitutes an essential business on the website, which is being constantly updated
https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/essential-businesses/

Please note there is a lot of grey area. Please do not interpret this yourself. It’s understandable that in a fast-moving environment, decisions have to be made are sometimes aren’t perfect. We understand the increased stress on you and that you are facing a sort of economic hit that most have never even contemplated.

We have been given the information from the MBIE. We have spent many hours taking calls, emails, texts trying to change this. We would like to thank you for the support we have received.

Coffee roasters fall under two categories which are covered by two different sectors – Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

As below, coffee roasters fall into this category up until the point of retail/distribution:


Primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing:

Lead agency: Ministry for Primary Industries

Any entity involved in the packaging, production and processing of food and beverage products, whether for domestic consumption or export.

“There are a couple of simple questions operators can ask themselves before registering: For this part, if they believe they fit into this category, coffee roasters can operate apply for and under the MPI register for safe practice, UNLESS they can operate under the requirements that make them exempt from requiring registration (see below).

Do you have 5 or fewer people (including the owner) working at each business site?

Can you achieve social distancing measures between staff in your workplace, including travelling to and from work?

If you answer YES to both of those questions, then you do not need to register and do not need to fill in the form.”

See this webpage for guidance: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/covid-19-essential-primary-sector-service-registration/


HERE IS THE DISTRIBUTION PART WHERE COFFEE ROASTERS ARE COVERED BY MBIE:

As far as distribution to online customers, requirements/approval falls under MBIE (as below) and you are best to contact them regarding this at essential@mbie.govt.nz or call 0800 22 66 57 (8 am to 1 am).


Fast-moving consumer goods

Lead agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Any entity involved in the supply, delivery, distribution and sale of food, beverage and other key consumer goods essential for maintaining the wellbeing of people.


We have found this situation to be evolving and as much as we all believe coffee is an essential service, we all need to remain safe. We have been told by MBIE that Law enforcement authorities are clamping down.

You cannot supply coffee to any residential areas via courier or online sales.

We encourage you to enjoy your bubble, talk to others online, undertake the necessary precautions and drink coffee.

We look forward to the day when we will meet each other in our favourite cafes and get back to what we do best, drinking tasty brown stuff, enjoying delicious kai and social closeness.

Kia Kaha.