Frontline food worker safety is Kisko’s number one priority

Mark remembers coming from Jamaica with his mom and dad to start a new life in Canada. His parents had started Kisko Freeze pops back in their home country and his dad had a challenging time getting a job without Canadian experience. So, they decided to do what they knew best and started Kisko in Canada. The family experienced opportunities but also challenges in integrating as new immigrants.
“It is not easy as a new Canadian – you are welcomed by the country, but you are still new to the culture and the employment community. At Kisko, we do our best to give people a chance by supporting a multi-cultural workforce,” said Mark Josephs.

Today, Mark and his brothers run a successful mid-sized Ontario food manufacturing business with 95 full time employees and seasonal support. Best known for their Kisko Freezies, Mr. Freeze, and licensed brands Welchs’s and Motts Juice bars. Kisko also produces a popular line – Mrs. J’s natural organic fruit products – that sell across Canada, the United States and even a few other distant export countries like South Korea, the Caribbean Islands and Jamaica.

When COVID-19 happened, the company had difficulty accessing personal protective equipment (PPE) because so much of it was being used to support frontline workers in the health sector. But leading companies in the food and beverage processing sector quickly came together to find supply and worked to support each other with occupational health and safety measures that evolved based on new information and experiences.

Maple Leaf Foods was one of the first companies to make their COVID-19 Pandemic Plan available to other Food and Beverage Ontario members.  We are so thankful to them for sharing their expertise with us. It is still our ‘go to’ guide for ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers,” said Mark Josephs.

Because they follow best practices, Kisko has managed to continue to supply safe products during this crisis. When two workers contracted COVID-19 outside of the workplace, transparent communications, daily health and safety meetings and following health and safety regulations, the company reduce staff concerns and keep up production. Thankfully, the two employees involved have recovered and there are no further cases.
“We made many adjustments to our business and the way we connect with employees. It is important to be honest and transparent with our staff. When they see sincerity, it develops trust. We have a great team and it takes team work to be successful,” said Mark Josephs.

“We believe that leadership begins with servant leaders and that we truly have to care for our team. Once people know you care and that their best interests are yours as well, then they will be even more committed.”

Mark Josephs
Mark Josephs from Kisko Mark Josephs is CEO at Kisko Products

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