Morpol director pleased with own infection control strategy after 29 employees test positive for Covid-19

Aslak Berge

Emilia Schomburg, communications director for brands, is pleased with Morpol’s coronavirus management.

Rumours of a coronavirus outbreak at the world’s largest processing plant and buyer of salmon, Morpol, began to swirl as early as Friday morning. Despite repeated inquiries by mail and phone on Friday, over the weekend and then on Monday, Morpol owner Mowi, after several reminders, answered SalmonBusiness for the first time just before midnight.

Lost interest
“Sorry for not replying earlier. I must have missed your request from before. It’s not breaking news anymore as we had a first case on July 17th and the latest development show we’re already gaining control so media kind of lost interest,” wrote Mowi brand communication director Emilia Schomburg in an email.

The huge Morpol factory is impressive for its size, where it is located on a field south of the seaside resort of Ustka on Poland’s Baltic beaches. No one is close to buying in and processing as much salmon as Morpol. A halt in production here could shake the salmon market.

“From the day we diagnosed the first case, i.e. 17th July this year, we have conducted 747 tests. 29 were positive which can be certainly considered the small percentage as we do employ over 4000 people,” she continued.

“Such a small percentage of cases proves that the restrictive internal procedures introduced already late February this year, related to the protection of employees and the company against the spread of coronavirus appeared to be successful,” said the director.

“The measures introduced already back then, among others, was the division of the plant into zones wit dedicated bus transportation plus introducing the data collecting processes which now, as a result, help us to quickly map, identify, isolate and test potentially affected employees,” she added.

Schomburg claims that production has only had “a slight decrease” after the outbreak.

“This situation does not require the entire factory to be closed so yes the plant is fully operational with just a slight decrease in production,” said Schomburg.