The Quality Bakers of America recognizes the challenges encountered in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. QBA has taken key steps to help our bakers navigate current significant issues to keep Sunbeam Bread headed toward retail customers at unprecedented volumes. As a proud member of the American Bakers Association (ABA), QBA is using their guidance and policies to make it a priority in caring for our employees, their families and our dedicated customers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not consider COVID-19 to be a foodborne illness. Even so, as a preventative measure, our food companies are increasing the levels of sanitation and ordinary food safety testing beyond what is required by law or any regulatory guideline during this pandemic.
We understand that it is important to keep our bakeries operational, maintain a safe working environment, and continue to provide our product to the country. QBA has implemented critical steps to make that happen. We are actively collaborating with our baking partners to maintain an open communication about how each vendor is adjusting their workflow.
Currently, our baking partners — Lewis Bakeries, Flowers Foods, Aunt Millie’s, Schmidt Bakery and Bimbo Bakery — are committed to keeping products on the shelves as safely and efficiently as possible to help feed families during this unprecedented time. Dean Short, President of Lewis Bakeries said, “Temporarily cutting back on the variety of products we bake has been vital to keeping up with demand.”
All our bakery vendors are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of team members and consumers. They recognize their responsibility is to deliver safe, quality products to the marketplace.
We are closely monitoring COVID-19 updates from federal and state agencies and other sources to determine if further actions are required. This way, our bakery network will allow us the ability to serve geographic areas even if some of areas are affected.
Overall, our bakeries have doubled and tripled their production. QBA is confident there won’t be a supply issue so as long as our bakeries can operate and get inbound ingredients. Sunbeam Bread will continue to get into the market. The breakneck pace of bread purchases will not be sustained over time, so fundamental long-term shifts in consumption patterns are possible.
Above anything else, QBA extends our gratitude to our vendors and their employees. They are unsung heroes who deserve to be celebrated as they have persevered throughout these difficult times. They are working tireless and safely, today and always, to feed the country and the world. We cannot thank them enough. QBA will continue to implement best practices for safety for our consumers and employees.
Marc Knox Executive vice president chief operating officer