Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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Page 36 of 43 35 "What I think the pandemic has taught us is that moving forward, we need to be ready to pivot in areas we may not have predicted." George Ellinidis, Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. Due to stringent restrictions on the number of people permitted to work in plants, Maple Leaf pivoted to develop creative ways to use technology for automating systems, including audits and equipment inspections. The legal department at Maple Leaf works collaboratively with the entire organization to provide support and help identify and mitigate risk. Hathaway's team is also working to ensure a smooth return-to-office for staff working remotely since the start of the pandemic and consider all options for the future working model. "There are privacy concerns and access concerns and confidentiality issues, and we are thinking through conversations about vaccines in the workplace, and even how the pandemic has affected how we may think about our contracting strategy going forward," says Hathaway. Hathaway says the focus will be to continue contributing to the community more broadly by focusing on sustainability, good animal care and creating shared value. At Coca-Cola Canada Bottling, the team shifted its focus to packaging and products that were less strained by supply chain shortages. "From the scarcity of certain supplies like aluminum cans to manufacturing disruptions due to the dozens of COVID protocols that we've implemented to keep our employees safe, Coca-Cola Canada Bottling has weath- ered the storm by quickly pivoting to adjust to the realities faced by our business," says Gennady Ferenbok, vice president, general counsel and secretary at Coca-Cola Canada Bottling. This independently-owned company has a contract with Coca-Cola to manufacture, bottle, distribute and sell Coke products across Canada. For example, due to a North American aluminum shortage, Coca-Cola Canada Bottling worked closely with brand partners to focus on promoting its alternative polyethylene terephthalate bottle packaging. The pandemic brought additional risks and uncertainty to many long-standing operating norms, so Ferenbok's department has been busy helping the organization to foresee, understand and respond to challenges. Ferenbok expects this to continue in the future. "The food and beverage supply chain is incredibly complex but also incredibly strong and resilient," he says. "I expect the industry will continue on its current trajectory and get ahead of, or quickly adapt to, whatever changes the future might hold."

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