Working together, keeping people safe
Monday, June 8, 2020
Several shareholders have asked how the coronavirus pandemic has affected our business. It’s important you know that our business is on track, despite COVID-19’s considerable challenges. Sealaska businesses had a record year last year, and we’re on course for another successful year.
Our priority has been to keep our people safe and, if possible, to enable them to continue working. We have been able to keep all of our people employed and, to our knowledge, have avoided serious illness.
Pat Connor, Sealaska’s manager of environmental health and safety, noted that this situation offers an important example of how acting from our values helps our people and our businesses. Working together as a team especially when our entities are as diverse and distributed as they are enables us to share insights and best practices from Los Angeles to Juneau. It makes solving problems easier and more efficient.
Pat has been serving as a hub and connector for all of Sealaska’s entities, with a goal of enabling each unique location to operate within a broader framework that is guided by Sealaska’s values and principles. He emphasized the importance of promoting an atmosphere of care and integrity. When people feel comfortable sharing information, whether it’s good or bad, we can avoid hazards and make ourselves and our operations better.
Seafood processing is among the most noteworthy parts of our business. Our seafood companies are providing an essential service that transforms the 2019 domestic catch into healthy, low-impact food. Feeding people is especially critical right now. While the pandemic has impaired global and other food systems, such as meat and poultry processing, the Alaskan/Pacific Northwest supply chain has remained strong through the crisis.
Sourcing and processing locally is more than just environmentally sound. It makes the food supply reliable and resilient. Our approach, driven by a desire to feed people while diminishing our impact on the planet, has been an enormous benefit through the crisis. And our businesses have applied focus, clarity and drive to keeping employees safe through record production.
Because safety in seafood processing is so important and challenging, our operations are closely scrutinized by regulators. Two federal agencies the Centers for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently toured our Orca Bay plant in Seattle as part of a regional review of all plants that have been working throughout the pandemic. They reported that our plant had among the more robust programs they have come across.
Sealaska’s water and infrastructure businesses in California and elsewhere are also providing essential services. The pandemic magnifies the importance of access to clean water, as homes, businesses and hospitals rely on uninterrupted water services to keep people safe.
Our success so far during this unprecedented and challenging time springs from all of the efforts to live and work according to our values. All who are helping to move Sealaska forward on this journey can be proud.
For more on Sealaska’s business operations, visit this recent Seattle Times article.