2021 – A Challenging Year

Blog | 22 December 2021

2021 has been a challenging year for all. The COVID-19 pandemic caused chaos across every local, national and global supply chain, from product shortages to facility closures and beyond. Yet somehow, businesses and carriers around the world have persevered, and they continue to ship and deliver goods every day. Holchem, part of the Kersia Group, has maintained close relationships and supported our customers across the world. Kersia is a global leader in biosecurity and food safety with value added products and solutions to prevent diseases or contamination in both animal and humans at every stage of the food supply chain.

Despite operating in the difficult economic and pandemic climate, we have seen several strong new business wins further enhancing our position as the market leading provider of chemical cleaning solutions. Our valued customer base has expanded including companies such as: Brewdog, Shepherd Neame, Firmenich, AAK, Applecross Hatchery, Cranswick Gourmet Kitchen. We would like to thank them for their confidence and trust in moving to Holchem.

With customer site visits postponed due to social distancing and travel restrictions in 2020, we recognise that the traditional Holchem support offering had to change temporarily. Customer support during 2021 reverted, in the main, to controlled and risk assessed ‘face to face’ visits and audit.

COVID-19 has remained a challenge throughout 2021 for our customers, both in terms of routine factory cleaning and disinfection practices and decontamination strategies following any confirmation of COVID-19 cases on site.  Holchem has worked with external research providers to commission studies on increasing our knowledge of this new coronavirus and how our products and procedures can be optimised to control it. 

Following advice from the WHO that handwashing with soap is sufficient to control SARS-CoV-2, we have undertaken studies on the range of detergents we offer to confirm that these also have anti-coronavirus properties.  We have also ensured that all our disinfectants meet the requirements of appropriate European Standard virucidal disinfectant tests, providing confidence that routine cleaning and disinfection programmes, as originally specified on CICs, are sufficient to control the day-to-day risks of coronavirus on food contact and environmental surfaces. 

Work has also demonstrated that fogging, known to be effective against bacteria in the air, is also effective against viruses when using appropriate disinfectants, and thus provides a rapid decontamination system for airborne coronavirus.

During the past 12 months the demand for our hygiene and allergen training courses has been unprecedented as our customers look to enhance and develop the skills of their workforce.  The range and number of courses for 2022 ensures that we can meet the needs of the sectors we work in and help our customers ensure that their teams are taking part in the most up to date, relevant courses and gaining the necessary qualifications

Holchem continue to use and develop their new tablet-based audit. This allows our field-based staff to enter information into the app as they conduct an audit. At the end of each audit, the report is automatically generated and sent to the customer, providing the customer with real time information of their hygiene related processes.

Holchem, a key sponsor and exhibitor at the International Cheese & Dairy Awards, met many visitors to chat through the latest hygiene developments and products in the sector. The event attracted an international audience comprising cheese manufacturers and associated industries as well as the public. 

The Holchem Kersia team wish you all the very best over the Christmas period and for the New Year.