Trapiche’s response to Covid-19 in South America

Grupo Peñaflor, the owner of Argentine wine brand Trapiche, tells db how the company has responded to the pandemic, from staffing to harvesting, while providing an update on trading.

Francisco Do Pico, Trapiche’s director of public affairs, discusses the changes due to the lockdown.

On March 19th, the Federal Government of Argentina decided to install a total quarantine for the population to prevent an exponential growth of contagions. Agricultural and food industries could continue producing in order to assure normal supply of food and beverages to the population. The wine industry was therefore allowed to continue operating to supply the domestic and export markets.

We created a crisis committee to face the challenges the virus has brought with it. First, we had to develop new sanitary protocols or adapt existing ones to preserve the health of our employees who continue working in critical functions that can’t be discontinued. Home office, traveling bans, and limiting or prohibiting meetings and tourist visits were other preventive measures we took before the quarantine. Of course, quarantine had presented new challenges for our harvest, manufacturing, logistics, finance, domestic sales and export activities.

We have been producing our own Gel alcohol-based hand sanitizer for the workers at the winery and also, we are donating to the main hospitals in Mendoza and other provinces in Argentina.

During the first part of the quarantine, since we were in the middle of harvest time, we have been focused primarily on preserving the health of our employees and their families. As we were in the middle of the harvest, we had workers living with their families at the vineyards in company owned houses. Our focus those days had been on taking the necessary measures to update our hygiene protocols and distribute sanitary supplies to them. We had also implemented training courses and distributed educational material to all our employees in order to share sanitary best practices to use at work and at home.

We are working to contribute to the needs related to the health and education of the communities living close to our operations in Mendoza, Salta, Catamarca, San Juan and Buenos Aires.

Regarding the health program, we have already donated 40,000 litres of alcohol to the communities where the company operates.

Through various NGOs, we have developed a food assistance plan for these communities that are facing the effects of the pandemic and social isolation.

In the education field, a virtual education program was jointly developed and is being implemented in 6 schools in Mendoza. The objective is for students to acquire tools for their job placement and the choice of a career.

Daniel Pi, Trapiche’s Chief winemaker, talks through the impact of covid-19 on harvesting

When lockdown took place in Argentina, we were about in the middle of the season. Fortunately, we were about to finish by middle April before contamination was more accentuated in Argentina.

Our activity was among the ones that the government excepted from quarantine. Nevertheless, we were taking measures of sanitization before that point, and we accentuated them from March 19th. We are cleaning and disinfecting working areas every 4 hours, keeping social distance of 2m between workers, sending administration workers for home office, also people with health risks, we keep cells of works in order to keep isolated areas, we set a protocol of procedures, we measure temperature for everyone at the winery every time we came in and out of the facility, we produce our own alcohol solution 70%, we wear masks and gloves in places with risks, and we give workers safety 5 minutes talks every change of shifts.

Fortunately, we had full crew in both cellar and vineyard.

Javier Brea, Trapiche’s international trade marketing Manager, explains the impact of the pandemic on sales

The behavior of demand has been very uneven since they combine different variables. What we have noticed is a significant growth in our sales in retail during the second half of March, and with growth during April but at a slightly slower rate, as well as a strong acceleration of the entire online channel.

Although the scenario is very uncertain, we believe that the sales in the off premise will continue to grow, although at a more moderate rate than this first period, and there will undoubtedly be a residual effect after the pandemic, especially in the online channel where the People will consider it as one more option when making their purchase.

In the case of on-trade, it is undoubtedly the channel that is suffering the most. We see from our partners enormous efforts in being able to readapt their business model as quickly as possible to continue operating. In this sense, we are working closely with each of them, sharing good practices among the markets and daily monitoring the progress of the operation.

In addition to Covid-19, there are other variables associated that complicate the operation at a general level. Devaluations of currencies, lead times of our suppliers, logistical difficulties, etc., we have still been able to keep the business running, and we are already working on the post-Covid plans without neglecting the short-term actions to go through this difficult situation.

Finally, it is important to highlight the great capacity for teamwork with our partners and an enormous passion and desire to get ahead.

One Response to “Trapiche’s response to Covid-19 in South America”

  1. Roberta says:

    Oh Javier Brea just looks wonderful. He is so hot and popular right know. Whish I could meet him.

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