As HAVI continues to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have never been more conscious of our position as a global company. We serve customers in more than 100 countries, have a physical presence in more than 45 countries and employ approximately 10,000 people worldwide. There continues to be significant variation in the status of – and response to – the pandemic in our different markets. Our teams around the world have responded with exemplary professionalism to this complicated landscape, and we could not be prouder of their resilience and commitment in such difficult and volatile circumstances. They continue to Deliver the Promise day in day out, doing amazing things with patience and kindness.
Our top priority remains the safety and wellbeing of everyone associated with our company -- our people and the customers and suppliers with whom our teams interact every day. With the interests of all these people in mind, we remain committed to complying with directives and guidance from the World Health Organization, local governments and health authorities.
It’s clear that the pandemic and its aftermath will continue to test individuals and businesses in the months and years ahead. HAVI has always led its business with a long-term focus grounded in our financial strength and stability and in having strong business contingency planning in place in our operations. These strengths have served us well to date, ensuring we remain beside our customers planning and preparing, assuring supply and safe handling of products, and adapting inventories and deliveries to fluctuating demand.
HAVI is also committed to looking ahead to what the “next normal” will bring, and how we can help customers be better positioned and prepared for new challenges to come. Our aim is to be a leading driver of innovation for the foodservice value chain – partnering with others to reshape the future and enable our customers to thrive in it.
For now, we would like to thank our committed employees for their tireless work, our loyal supplier network for partnering with us to ensure supply and adjust to changes in demand, and our customers for trusting us to protect their businesses and help them think about the future.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have proactively encouraged our employees who can work from home to do so. Thanks to our cloud-first IT strategy, we are well-positioned to ensure ongoing system performance and have equipped employees with the software, hardware and training they need to work from home. In our distribution centers, we have implemented safety measures and protocols to safeguard employee health– from temperature checks and increased cleaning to handwashing and social distancing. As more markets have started to open up, we have implemented protocols in our office locations and offered access to employees who need an alternative option to working from home.
We have also asked all employees to refrain from business travel to any destination, unless it is deemed business-critical and receives leadership approval. We continue to drive ongoing collaboration and engagement via virtual meetings and tools.
Business continuity for our foodservice customers is powered through resiliency. At HAVI, this means being flexible, nimble and decisive, in good times and in times of uncertainty while anticipating what’s next. We have implemented and maintained HAVI’s global contingency measures to plan, monitor, and report through dedicated taskforce teams at the country and enterprise level.
Our contingency plans remain in place for assured supply in all markets, working closely with customer and supplier networks, and we continue to look ahead to help our customers adapt and adjust for what the next normal will bring. We are looking proactively at the packaging and other operating supplies that will be needed in a COVID-19 world moving forward. And, most importantly, we continue to deliver what restaurants need when they need it, no matter what.
Our supplier partners have really stepped up to respond to the daily challenges of this ever-changing new reality. In advance of the escalation of the COVID-19 crisis, we worked with suppliers to create capacity, build stocks of finished products and prioritize critical items, and this process continues as new guidance and restrictions are issued in different markets. We are in constant dialogue with our supplier partners as we focus on business continuity and contingency planning for our customers across dozens of markets.
Our supplier network has shown incredible resilience in responding to the changing environment and customer needs. Looking ahead, we are anticipating the needs of markets as they enter the recovery phase of the crisis.
There's no question that COVID-19 has had a profound and irreversible impact on every aspect of normal life. After all, we are living through the consequences of this global health and economic crisis every day. The relevant question is: what does the next normal look like? HAVI led an insights survey at the start of the crisis and you can read about those results, as well as other perspective related to the "next normal" on HAVI's thought leadership blog: The HighCare Factor.