“We’re still open for business and we’ll continue to produce your favorite ice creams through the current Victorian state of disaster,” stated Everest Ice Cream CEO Owen Nelson on August 3, a day after government authorities in the second most populated state of Australia imposed Stage 4 lockdown restrictions and extensive business closures to battle a resurgence in outbreaks of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections.
“It’s our interpretation that food businesses, such as ours, will continue to operate as long as we have a Covid-safe plan in place,” said Nelson. “From the onset of this pandemic we’ve had very clear hygiene rules, plenty of PPE and rigorous sanitation procedures. Our staff continues to remotely work where possible and we have clear staff separation of shifts to minimize any risks. Our entire supply chain is important to us and we’ll continue to work with our suppliers, warehousing and logistics partners to ensure we can still make and ship our ice cream around the country.”
The Reservoir, Victoria-headquartered company, founded in 1958, produces nearly 70 favors of ice cream, gelato, sorbet, smoothies and frozen dessert. Dessert offerings range from Italian-style tartufo and baci to gianduiotto, cassata and after dinner mint peppermint ice cream wedges finished with a crisp milk chocolate shell.
“We acknowledge the impact this virus has had on so many customers and while it’s great to see some parts of the country recovering there are others that still have a long road ahead,” said Owen. “We’re with you and we’ll do anything we can to support your business and come out the other side of this pandemic together.”
Since the coronavirus scourge broke out in China late last year, the number of Covid-19 cases reported in Australia has reached nearly 19,000. The death toll of 232 (147 in Victoria), far lower than many other developed countries, has been attributed to the early closing of international borders, social distancing restrictions and mass virus testing. However, the number of fatalities has spiked by 65 in the last seven days and 439 new cases were reported in Victoria over a 24-hour period from August 3-4.
Violators of Covid-19 isolation orders now in place face stiff fines as high as A$20,000 (approximately US$14,302) in Victoria, as the state tries to slow the spread of the virus. Night curfews are in effect and, daytime movements have been restricted and large parts of the economy have been shut down until further notice.