DAVIDSONS ANIMAL Feeds’ are taking extra precautions to support their customers during the Coronavirus outbreak – but have stressed that, despite a staff lockdown, it will be mostly ‘business as usual’ during one of their busiest times of year.

Biosecurity and contingency plans have been put in place to secure the safety of staff and farmers, and help avoid spreading the Covid-19 virus within agriculture communities.

“Our policy is to provide customers with safe, sustainable and high-quality animal feeds, which is exactly what we continue to do,” said owner, William Davidson. “Our main focus is to keep business as usual for as long as we can, to help protect our customers.”

Davidsons was one of the first animal feeds companies to go into lockdown, calling all external reps to work from home, and drivers being told to work in isolation – phoning customers prior to farm deliveries to avoid unnecessary contact. All sales, calls and deliveries are continuing as normal, but they are continuing to monitor the outbreak day by day.

“Our supply chain is reasonably robust; we collaborate closely with our partners to engage with one another,” Mr Davidson continued. “We have plenty of raw materials stored to make our feeding, I have great confidence that we will continue to provide our service and will see no shortage of outputs.

“My main concern is the staff – if we don’t have the labour, we can’t output our product, so keeping our drivers and onsite staff safe and healthy is our number one priority, hence our early lockdown.”

One of the key procedures of Davidson’s plan is ensuring that different areas of the business are not mixing with one another. There is no access between departments to avoid the risk of transmission.

Anything that can be postponed has been, and no visitors are welcomed at the feed mill, based at Shotts. At the main office, all the standard things have been applied to help with personal hygiene, with mandatory hand sanitisers to be used as people enter buildings.

“Being mindful of our customer premises and our hard-working elderly customers, farmers shouldn’t be any different, we need to take precautions where we can and avoid any contact with the ‘high risk categories’,” stressed Mr Davidson.

“We have had a very busy season so far with sales and, we don’t see this changing – stock still needs to be fed, so we will just need to continue our hard work,” he assured.

The delivery team are still currently working on track, with 95% of orders continuing to be 'next day' deliveries. Davidsons is discouraging panic buying, when there is no need for it, and have strong confidence that their service will continue.

“We are using technology to communicate with one another, and to avoid any unnecessary contact. Social media is a great way of getting the word out. Our guidance to farmers and customers is to listen to what the Government advises us to do – we need to keep safe and think of the health and well being of each other,” he urged. “This is a serious condition that we need to treat with care. We will continue to operate our service as normal, so there is no reason to panic buy from us."