A new Teagasc telephone helpline to assist farmers with queries in relation to the current COVID-19 challenge has been set up.
It was announced by Professor Tom Kelly, Teagasc Director of Knowledge Transfer: “Teagasc have put in place a dedicated helpline for farmers to get advice on the range of issues that they may face as they continue to do their essential work in maintaining the food supply chain. This helpline is open to all farmers for a range of farming issues they face on a day to day.
The information line phone number is +353 76 1113533 and will be open from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.
As usual, the Teagasc website www.teagasc.ie is a prime source of information on the full range of issues facing farm businesses. Teagasc clients should continue to use advisors mobiles and office numbers.
Teagasc Horticultural Development Department has compiled a document with information available from the relevant competent authorities and some suggestions for producers to consider in the coming weeks.
Horticultural production is currently the fourth largest Agri-food sector in Ireland, employing a large number of people. As the primary production season for Irish fruits and vegetables is upon us, in the context of COVID-19, additional planning and risk assessment at the business level for every operator will be required. Teagasc Horticultural Development Department, in producing this short communication, aim to compile information available from the relevant competent authorities and also provide some suggestions for producers to consider in the coming weeks.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. COVID-19 is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans. COVID-19 has already and is currently causing significant disruption to businesses. The European Food Safety Authority has stated that there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the coronavirus.
However, growers need to act to assess the impacts of COVID-19 and the associated national mitigation measures on their business and how best to prepare for the period ahead. The following communication has been compiled as a reference information source (as of 13/03/20) which may be of use to horticultural food producers. However given the frequently changing circumstances and governmental advice, please continue to check listed references for the most current advice.
Teagasc has produced another document to inform horticulture producers on how to mitigate for an outbreak of COVID-19 on their units and provide advice on how to minimise the risk of the spread.
The link to this document is provided below or can be found by navigating the Teagasc.ie website.
The document was prepared to inform horticulture producers on how to mitigate for an outbreak of COVID-19 on their units and provide advice on how to minimise the risk of the spread by re-enforcing prescribed physical distancing measures, hygiene measures and training. The success of any actions rests on hygiene measures and contact reduction.
The scenarios below will guide producers on how to deal with employees who show symptoms of the virus.
Critical Action Points
All staff must maintain a minimum distance of at least 2m between each other at all times. This significantly reduces the number of on farm close contacts for any individual. This reduces the possibility that all staff will need to self-isolate, should one employee become ill.
Avoid all face to face contact where possible.
All Staff should regularly wash their hands throughout the day.
This should be facilitated by easy access to proper handwashing facilities, with access to warm water and soap.