23 March 2020

LIC Business Continuity Update: COVID-19

An update from LIC’s Chief Executive Wayne McNee for our farmer shareholders on our continued focus on delivering essential products and services to farmers.

As an essential service to more than 10,000 farmers, I want to assure you LIC is doing all it can to continue delivering a high standard of products and services to you at this challenging time for our country and wider global community.

We are following the guidance of the New Zealand government and Ministry of Health to best keep our people and our farmers safe, and our business operating.

To that end, we asked the government for LIC to be considered an essential business given our critical role for dairy farmers. This classification is crucial for LIC to enable the continued provision of essential products and services with New Zealand now at Alert level three as announced by the Prime Minister today and Alert level four shortly.

The Minister of Agriculture and Director General of MPI have confirmed LIC is considered an essential business at this stage but that may change in future.

Contact Changes

In line with government advice, LIC now has a large proportion of our people successfully working remotely.

The one area we do need to change as the challenge of COVID-19 deepens and in light of today’s announcement by the Prime Minister is elements of our face-to-face engagement with you.  

We value enormously the opportunity to talk with you in person but we need to minimise the risks of COVID-19 to you, your staff and family, and our people.

To best ensure this, LIC will now cease on farm visits from our Agri Manager team, and our automation sales staff.

On farm visits by our field technicians, automation service staff and FarmWise consultants will be continuing but only after calls to make sure you’re comfortable with solely outdoor meetings at a distance of at least two metres. Post-visit meeting notes will be sent electronically and our staff have hand sanitizer in their vehicles to minimise risks with disposable gloves as appropriate.

Our herd testing service remains operational and we will update you if this changes. We will call you first to reconfirm you are comfortable with our staff coming on farm. We will be equipping our staff with alcoholic wipes to keep hands clean and they will keep a safe distance of at least two metres and avoid physical contact (such as shaking hands). Any equipment used on farm will be cleaned and sanitised before and after each visit. 

What happens next?

For those we were intending to meet with over the coming weeks and months, you can expect a call from one of our team to discuss your product and service requirements as we look forward to the 2020-21 season.  

The wider field team are intent on ensuring a high level of support continues. They will miss the personal engagement with you on farm but we will look to set-up Skype meetings where able, to personalise the engagement as much as we can.

Contact Experience Centre (CEC)

We recognise our call centre is a critical function that you value highly. Even at this time of year the centre manages in the order of 2,500 calls and 700 emails each week.

We are working hard to maintain the highest level of service through our centre to you while looking after the health and wellbeing of our people who work within the function.

To do this, we are shortening our centre’s operating hours to ensure we’re best placed to support our team members at this time.

The centre’s hours will change to 8am until 5pm, Monday to Friday effective immediately.   

Please be assured the wider LIC team remains here to help you as needed during this challenging time.

We urge you to also stay connected with those around you and call us if needed on 0800 264 632 or email minda@lic.co.nz  

Thanks for your continued support.

Wayne McNee

Chief Executive