Moscow – PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev informed members of the Company's Board of Directors about the measures implemented in the workplace to prevent the spread of coronavirus during a teleconference.
Mr Guryev stressed that special working arrangements had been introduced as early as the beginning of March. The Company has replaced all internal meetings with video conferences and suspended all business travel. All employees engaged in continuous-cycle production, including contractors, are regularly given non-contact temperature checks. All other employees have been asked to work remotely.
Hand sanitiser dispensers and air purifiers have been installed in workplaces, and additional disinfection is carried out. All employees have been provided with masks, with part of the staff working in special respirator masks. Employees who show any signs of an acute respiratory infection are strictly forbidden from entering the workplace. All of the Group's enterprises have secured sufficient reserves of raw materials and developed the necessary production regulations to prepare for any development of the epidemic situation.
At the request of Irina Bokova, head of the PhosAgro Board of Directors' Committee for Sustainable Development, Mr Guryev told participants in detail about the current situation in the cities where the Company operates, emphasising that the health of local residents is an absolute priority for the Company. To this end, PhosAgro is strengthening its traditional support for medicine and healthcare in the regions where it operates and is assisting local medical institutions by purchasing essential equipment. The Company has purchased ambulances equipped with artificial ventilation devices, ventilators themselves, oxygen concentrators, large batches of infectious protection suits, disposable syringes, blood and biomaterial test tubes, filter masks, protective glasses, air decontaminators, compressor nebulisers and disinfection products. Streaming thermal cameras have also been purchased for the cities where the Company operates.
In addition, PhosAgro is acquiring rapid testing systems for coronavirus for its employees and for residents of the cities where it operates. As of now, 1,600 rapid testing systems that are produced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) at a site in Kazan have been delivered to cities where the Company is present. An additional batch of up to 10,000 Russian rapid testing systems is expected to be delivered. PhosAgro has allocated a total of more than RUB 600 million for the purchase of medical equipment, protection equipment and testing systems. PhosAgro's sales offices located in countries that have been hit by the pandemic, including Italy and Serbia, are providing assistance to local medical institutions. More than EUR 100,000 has already been allocated for this purpose.
Significant work on coordinating the measures taken by large Russian businesses in the fight against coronavirus has been carried out through the Coordination Council of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), co-chaired by Mr Guryev. The Council gathers and adapts successful Russian and international practices in countering the spread of coronavirus, including the work of coordinating councils and operational headquarters established by industry associations. On the initiative of Mr Guryev, a similar committee to unite efforts against the spread of the virus was created within the Russian Fertilizer Producers Association (RAPU).
In response to a question from Xavier Rolet, Chairman of the PhosAgro Board of Directors, about coordinating the Company's anti-epidemic efforts with international partners, Mr Guryev noted active collaboration to preserve global supply chains and the exchange of best practices in preventing infections with member-companies of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), as well as on other international platforms such as the World Economic Forum.
"Thanks to an early and promptly implemented set of preventive measures, as well as the coordination of our efforts with local authorities, the federal centre and with businesses in Russia and abroad, we have been able to keep the situation under control, while at the same time ensuring the continuity of production and supply to our customers," said PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev.
Foreign independent members of the Board of Directors shared their international expertise in the fight against coronavirus. Chairman of the Audit Committee of the PhosAgro Board of Directors Marcus Rhodes noted that the system of preventive measures implemented by the Company's management is in line with international best practices.
The seasoned investor and Head of the Remuneration and Human Resources Committee Jim Rogers actively participated in the conference call and discussed a range of measures to minimise the possible consequence of the pandemic on the Company's financial activities and current operating performance.
Summing up the call, Deputy Chairman of the PhosAgro Board of Directors Andrey G Guryev commented that "today, it is important for the Board of Directors, management and all employees to show unity and team spirit.”
“By recognising our responsibility for the food security of the country and the health of our relatives, friends and colleagues, we will be able to get through this difficult period without interruptions and – most importantly – keep our workforce healthy,” Andrey G Guryev concluded.