Document Sample

October 2009

Sysco Corporation previously launched a major cross-functional team effort to develop a
Pandemic Planning Manual. Based on lessons learned during the recent outbreak of
H1N1, as well as continually updated guidance from the World Health Organization
(WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company has
updated and refined its pandemic plans and procedures in preparation for the upcoming
flu season and the assumption that H1N1 will likely impact Sysco employees and
customers alike in the coming months.

Ultimately, the purpose of the Sysco Pandemic Planning Manual is to:

      Define procedures that will allow continuation of Sysco operations at the highest
       possible levels under widespread pandemic conditions;

      Guide an efficient company-wide response to flu outbreaks throughout North
       America and Canada. Utilizing this manual will allow sites, operating companies
       (OPCOS), and Corporate headquarters to coordinate decision-making during the
       management of a flu-related crisis; and

      Outline a phased, escalating approach to ongoing planning strategies and
       response actions as the threat becomes more defined or the pandemic spread
       and/or severity worsen.

Sysco’s pandemic plans provide a response that is consistent with the role of a critical
infrastructure/key resource as outlined by national Homeland Security agencies. Those
expectations include:
      Establishing a process for infection control in the workplace, including options for
       working off-site while ill, systems to reduce infection transmission, and employee
      Establishing internal surveillance protocols to monitor the health of employees
       and business stakeholders and to keep state and local public health officials
       informed as needed;
      Developing pandemic-specific continuity of operations plans to maintain delivery
       of essential goods and services despite high levels of absenteeism;
      Monitoring regional/international pandemic threat levels for trigger-point changes
       that will affect Sysco’s business;
      Coordinating with government officials and community stakeholders to share
       planning, preparedness, response and recovery information; and
      Establishing partnerships with other members of the response sector to provide
       mutual support and maintenance of essential services during a pandemic.

In addition to an overarching pandemic preparedness plan, Sysco has also developed a
series of polices, guidance documents and procedures specifically to mitigate the
potential affects of H1N1 influenza this fall. Sample materials include the following:

      Vaccination programs
      Attendance and absence reporting, including return to work guidance
      Workplace hygiene and additional cleaning and disinfection measures
      Escalated social distancing strategies
      Essential function and key employee materials
      Managing confirmed/suspected cases
      Revised delivery procedures
      Travel policies

New policies or procedures will be created as new requirements are anticipated or

Highlights of Sysco Pandemic Plans
The following provides an overview of key areas addressed in Sysco’s pandemic plans.
A copy of the plan’s table of contents is attached to this letter.

Crisis Management and Response Structure
Although most day-to-day incidents are handled by the site and OPCO response teams,
some potential crisis events, such as a pandemic, will require the activation of an
expanded company-wide crisis management structure that includes the participation of
executive management. Sysco has taken steps to strengthen and enhance its crisis
management structure with the implementation of two Corporate-level teams as well as
local facility-based teams.

As part of this structure, Sysco has also appointed a full time crisis management
program director. The role of this position is to lead and coordinate all aspects of
Sysco’s Crisis Management Program to include Planning and Preparedness, Response,
Mitigation and Recovery activities for crisis management, business continuity and
emergency response. Duties of this position will involve corporate preparedness
planning, event specific contingency planning (to include flu and pandemics), training,
exercising, ongoing program maintenance, program awareness, management of crisis
management resources and program quality assurance.

Following is an overview of the company’s three-tiered crisis management structure:

Local Response Structure
Each Sysco OPCO or facility will have its own Emergency Management Team (EMT).
These teams are responsible for coordinating directly with Sysco Corporate and the
implementation and oversight of local response functions including oversight of Incident
Management Teams, based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) at
key OPCOS.

Sysco decided to base its program on the NIMS model for several key reasons. First and
foremost, NIMS is the gold standard for incident management throughout the United
States. As part of the National Response Plan, the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) has designated Sysco and the food industry as one of the 17 national critical
infrastructure/key resources. DHS has endorsed the implementation of NIMS by
infrastructure/key resource sectors. Second, implementation of an incident management
system like NIMS is a requirement of the Private Sector Preparedness Act (Title IX, PL
110-53) as well as NFPA 1600, the current US standard for business
continuity/emergency management. Most importantly, implementing NIMS is an
important component to reaching our corporate objectives for a world class crisis
management program throughout Sysco.

When faced with H1N1, local response teams at all OPCOS and facilities will play an
important role in managing and mitigating the impact of the pandemic on our employees
and operations. Specifically, they will be responsible for the following:

      Creating a safe and healthy work environment and implementing programs to
       help slow the spread of the virus
      Implementing pandemic specific guidance and policies, such as attendance,
       personal hygiene (cough and sneeze etiquette), cleaning protocols, alternate
       work arrangements, etc.
      Ensuring ongoing, regular communications with all key audiences, including
       employees, customers, suppliers and vendors
      Reviewing local supplier and vendor policies and/or quality assurance
      Providing additional security, as needed
      Tracking increased absenteeism and managing potential impacts
      Anticipating and addressing actual and potential business consequences
      Responding to increasing/decreasing customer demands

Tactical Support Team (TST)
The Tactical Support Team (TST) is the Corporate level cross-functional team
responsible for ensuring that the Sysco OPCOS and facilities have the best available
resources necessary to effectively manage the impacts of a pandemic in their day-to-day
operations. The TST also serves as the Corporate sentinel (see Operation Status
Tracking) by observing and tracking the movement of flu outbreaks across the globe in
order to provide early warning signals. This will allow Sysco to proactively develop
business strategies to address potential impacts to business operations. During a
pandemic, specific actions of this team may include:

      Development of health and safety programs to protect and support our
      Creation of pandemic specific guidance and policies, including travel,
       vaccination, personal hygiene (i.e., cough and sneeze etiquette), cleaning and
       disinfecting workspaces, absenteeism, “key employees,” etc.

      Development of overarching communications programs designed to educate and
       support employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders
      Review/update the core supply list so that Sysco is ready to provide basic
       supplies if and when they are needed
      Quality assurance and food safety oversight
      Stockpiling of appropriate goods and materials

Crisis Management Team (CMT)
The Crisis Management Team (CMT) is the executive level oversight and decision-
making body for Sysco during any potential or actual crisis event. The CMT will approve
appropriate policies and strategies to manage business issues resulting from both the
short-term and long-term impacts of the pandemic throughout the Sysco system. The
CMT has the authority to define corporate policy and commit major corporate assets to
addressing the overall response to a flu outbreak.

Thresholds for Escalating Response Activity
The CDC and WHO each have their own phases of escalation which provide important
guidelines to the company’s response actions. However, Sysco has developed its own
complementary escalation criteria to help guide pandemic response efforts and to
ensure the company is able to respond proactively to emerging concerns and issues.
Sysco’s escalation criteria emphasize severity and the spread of the pandemic in
surrounding communities as well as related impacts on our employees, business
operations and customer needs.

During a pandemic, some areas may experience higher infection rates than others and
thus, some Sysco companies or facilities may require an increased or heightened level
of response activity. In addition to closely tracking employee and business impacts,
Sysco will monitor appropriate Federal, state, county or local health agencies, review all
distributed guidance, and then implement the corresponding, suitable preparedness

Operational Status Tracking Activities
Sysco has implemented a tracking system to monitor the spread of the pandemic and its
impact on employees or operations. This tracking mechanism and resulting report will
serve as a significant decision-making aid to the CMT, TST and other key Sysco
functional leaders as they define the strategies and response actions to address
pandemic threats.

A designated member of the OPCO Emergency Management Team or local
management will be assigned the responsibility of monitoring local events as well as
identifying pandemic related issues and reporting them to Corporate. During an
escalated pandemic, each OPCO or operating site will submit regular updates on
staffing, business continuation, supply chain and distribution issues.

Workplace Safety Arrangements
A pandemic may likely result in unusually high levels of absenteeism, including
employees who are ill and those who are responsible for taking care of family members.
This is a particularly critical issue for Sysco since a high percentage of its workforce
includes warehousing, transportation and distribution where the physical presence of
workers is required.

There are a number of different programs that will be or have already been implemented
across Sysco to slow the spread of the virus and help reduce infection among
employees. This list is not all-inclusive but represents the core program elements:

      Adopting rigorous workplace hygiene practices
      Encouraging flu shots and vaccines
      Providing employee hygiene packs
      Implementing social distancing strategies
      Offering alternate work arrangements where appropriate
      Screening or limiting building access, if/when necessary

As noted above, there are certain steps that Sysco will take in a diligent effort to slow the
spread of the virus and to try to protect employees. Based on recommendations from
the CDC and WHO, informational guidance material, fact sheets and training have been
made available to Sysco employees on a number of hygiene and workplace safety
topics. Each of these areas will be revisited or addressed based on further guidance
and recommendations from leading agencies. Key topics may include the following:

      Hand washing procedures
      Sneeze/cough etiquette
      Use of tissues and antiseptic wipes
      Cleaning and disinfecting the workplace
      Shared space hygiene practices
      Family and home precautions/caring for sick family members
      The use of masks, gloves, eye protection and other PPE when recommended by
       the CDC or WHO
      Food preparation and handling
      Sterilization of equipment

Ongoing Communications
Sysco has committed to a proactive, ongoing communications program targeting both
internal and external stakeholders. The goal is not only to reassure customers that
Sysco is ready to respond to the pandemic threat, but also to educate employees and
others about the importance of good hygiene and other prevention methods. We are
committed to only using reliable information sources such as the CDC and WHO in our

communications. We know and understand the importance of regular situational
updates and also reinforcing safe workplace practices, such as cough and sneeze
etiquette and staying away from work while sick.

To support this effort, Sysco has created a resource library of background
documentation, planning guidance, operational fact sheets and hygiene protocols that
address issues and planning topics which are unique to the flu. These materials are
based on recommendations and guidance from reputable, official sources such as the
WHO, CDC, DHS and others.

Essential Functions and Key Personnel
During a pandemic which may threaten Sysco’s ability to continue operations with a
curtailed workforce, it may become necessary to focus on the continuation of prioritized
critical functions. Sysco has worked to define and understand those essential functions
required to sustain operations and support our customers, including critical
infrastructure, and the associated personnel needs. We have not only identified our “key
personnel,” but have and will continue to communicate the importance of their role in
maintaining operations, provide education and resources to help them stay healthy, and
support additional cross training as needed. Careful consideration has also been given
to the development of alternate work environments (i.e., telecommute) when and where

Food Safety/Quality Standards
The potential impacts of a pandemic include not only concern for employee welfare, but
also shortages in raw materials and disruptions in the supply chain. Depending on the
type of pandemic and/or the public’s perception, some foods may/may not be perceived
as safe. To proactively address such reactions, Corporate Merchandising will identify
core products and core product item suppliers, and Quality Assurance will focus on
ensuring their safety through systematic program steps such as requesting that each
supplier validate existing programs.

Sysco will continue to work closely with regulatory agencies. If any changes are
identified, Corporate Quality Assurance will implement the necessary changes as quickly
as possible.

Product Demand Swings
A pandemic will have various effects upon our business and that of our customers. In
particular, we anticipate that there may be a significant change in both the amount and
type of products normally demanded by existing Sysco customers, governmental
agencies, the Red Cross, and the public-at-large. Below are samples of the types of
scenarios around which Sysco is planning:
      A decrease in the demand for certain types of food products due to association
       with the virus;
      An increase in demand for canned and frozen goods, as well as basic survival
       supplies (water, non-perishable milk, fruit / protein bars, etc.);
      A decrease in the demand for fresh produce due to limited shelf-life;

      An increase in the demand for chemical/janitorial/disinfectant products by
       healthcare and other institutional customers; and
      An increased demand of pre-packaged, “to-go” meals.

Sysco pandemic planning and response actions will emphasize understanding the actual
and anticipated fluctuation in demand for its products. The goal is to ensure that all
OPCOS and Corporate can quickly and efficiently adapt to the changing requirements
and ensure the right products are in place to meet evolving customer needs. Analysis of
customer forecasts and actual orders will allow Sysco to effectively anticipate, prepare
for and respond to increases or decreases in the demand for core and non-core

Vendor Outreach
Given the speed with which a potential pandemic is likely to progress, the Corporate
Merchandising department along with Merchandising personnel from each Sysco OPCO
is gathering, documenting and maintaining the contact information of all the current
vendors in order to establish and maintain direct communications throughout an
outbreak. This preparation will allow Sysco and vendors to communicate with each other
swiftly about current developments in product demand and availability. At the same
time, we are requesting pandemic planning information from our vendors to ensure
response actions are aligned.

Product Supply & Transportation
We understand that a pandemic will increase the demand for certain products and
perhaps dramatically decrease the demand for others. Sysco is dedicated to meeting
our customers’ evolving needs during this time. We’ve developed a number of planning
and preparedness steps to maintain business-as-usual operations for as long as
possible in the face of a pandemic. However, if the severity of the situation escalates,
Sysco may need to source from alternate suppliers. They will be required to meet the
same quality standards of any current supplier.

A pandemic may also affect transportation resources. In fact, disruptions may arise for
any number of reasons even including regional travel restrictions. Sysco’s planning
process has focused on this critical component of our operations to ensure disruptions
are held to a minimum. As part of that effort, we have identified a number of
contingency options to help ensure product delivery to our customers.

Coordination with Federal and National Response Agencies
As part of its initial pandemic planning process, Sysco conducted a series of meetings
with key Federal, military, state government and other public sector agencies. The
purpose was to maximize coordination with the government/public sector during
disasters and to gather information to further enhance Sysco’s mass care food
distribution role in disaster response. Meetings have been held with:

      State of Texas Department of Homeland Security
      American Red Cross
      Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)

      U.S. Department of       Homeland    Security   (DHS)   and    the    Infrastructure
       Partnerships Division

Outcomes from these initial meetings included:

      Gaining designation as a critical infrastructure/key resource for Federal level
       disaster response
      Understanding the different strategies for Federal, state and Red Cross food
      Determining how Sysco can establish working relationships with Federal, state,
       local governments and relief agencies to be implemented during a pandemic
      Clarifying existing and future military agreements and expectations

Sysco continues to remain in close contact with Federal and national response
agencies, such as FEMA and the American Red Cross, as well as state agencies to
discuss existing plans, review any additional resources or support requirements, and
ensure that Sysco is ready to provide the appropriate level of service.

In Conclusion
We at Sysco realize that no one can predict with accuracy the spread or severity of the
pandemic this fall and into next year. With that in mind, we have developed a flexible
response structure that will allow us to respond quickly, protect our employees and
adjust our business operations to meet changing customer needs and support any
disaster response efforts. Government agencies such as the CDC have released a
variety of planning guidance which we have reviewed and incorporated into our
response plans. Sysco is determined to take a proactive approach to preparedness in
general and pandemic response in particular. We will continue to modify and develop
our response plans and procedures as necessary and as we learn more about this

For additional information contact:

Sandra G. Carson
Sysco Corporation
1370 Enclave Parkway
Houston, TX 77077

Local contact:

Jason Gormley
Sysco Northern New England
44 Thomas Drive
Westbrook, ME 04092

Sysco Pandemic Planning Manual
Table of Contents

     Pandemic Risks and Threats
     Organization Response Structure (Crisis Management and Tactical Support
     Corporate Input and Role of the OPCOS and Facilities
     Sysco Escalation Phases

Using this Manual
    Planning and Response Checklists
    Country Specific Implementation

Section A – OPCO and Facility Emergency Management
    OPCO/Facility Incident Management Structure
    Emergency Management Team
    Checklist: Emergency Management Functions

Section B – Operational Status Tracking
    Business Impacts Report

Section C – Workplace / Safety Arrangements
    Vaccination
    Employee Hygiene Packs
    Personal Hygiene
    Facility Maintenance and Operations
    Self-isolation
    Alternative Work Arrangements
    Entrance Screening
    Limiting Third-Party Access
    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    Checklist: Workplace / Safety Arrangements

Section D – Human Resources / Benefits
    Benefits Review
    Pandemic-Specific Policies and Guidance Development
    Employee Assistance and Push/Pull Numbers
    Employee Tracking
    Identify and Categorize Essential Functions and Key Personnel
    Work Arrangements: Standard Locations
    Work Arrangements: Telecommute
    Cross Training
    Checklist: Human Resources / Benefits

Section E – Internal/External Communications
    Audiences and Stakeholders (internal and external)
    Communications Responsibilities

      Communications Liaisons and Structure
      Use of Credible Sources
      Sample Communications Materials and Tools
      Resource Library
      Checklist: Internal/External Communications

Section F – Supply Chain
    Customer Identification and Outreach
    Vendor Coordination
    Identification, Supply and Storage of Core Items
    Forecasting and Inventory Management
    Transportation
    Shipping and Receiving
    Temporary Closure of Facilities
    Checklist: Supply Chain

Section G – Food Safety / Quality Standards
    Quality Assurance and Suppliers
    Food Safety Programs for Core Items Suppliers
    Regulatory Authorities
    Trade Associations
    Checklist: Food Safety / Quality Standards

Section H – Product Handling
    Food Safety Instruction Modifications
    Product Handling Instructions
    Checklist: Product Handling

Section I – Assistance to Government Response
    Coordination with the Federal Government
    Coordination with State and Local Government
    Product Transportation
    Federal Coordination
    Checklist: Assistance to Government Response

Section J – Security
    Building Security
    Tailgate Delivery
    Checklist: Security