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STORY VI —— Guarding the "Food Supply" for Hong Kong Citizens

Dai He'en Deputy General Manager of CR Ng Fung Hong Kong Division and General Manager of Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse
  • Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, as an integral part of CR Ng Fung and a crucial entity representing CRH in Hong Kong, holds signiicant relevance to the lives of the local populace and garners considerable attention from various sectors within society. Dai He'en, Deputy General Manager of CR Ng Fung Hong Kong Division and General Manager of Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, checks the sales volume and selling price of fresh food supplied to Hong Kong every day. In his view, this data matters for the operation of the company as well as the food supply for Hong Kong citizens.

    Hong Kong is a densely populated city with a shortage of resources. For a long time, the 7.1 million Hong Kong residents have been relying on the Mainland for the supply of basic necessities such as vegetables, meat, and poultry. Since 1962, CR Ng Fung and its predecessor "Ng Fung Hong", where Dai He'en worked, have been undertaking the task of supplying fresh and frozen food from the Mainland to Hong Kong. The historical "three express trains", which have been running for decades without interruption, have ensured a stable supply to the Hong Kong market.

    Dai He'en recognizes that deeply engaging in the livelihood sector in Hong Kong is a fundamental pillar for the development of CR Ng Fung. "Once we joined, we were taught to take keeping the food supply stability of Hong Kong as a mission," he explained. In 1996, Dai He'en, aged 34, joined "Ng Fung Hong" in Hong Kong. Shortly after his joining, he was fortunate enough to witness the historic moment of Hong Kong's return to the motherland in 1997, and participated in many celebrations organized by local chambers of commerce and organizations. "At that time, I could strongly feel that all sectors of the Hong Kong community were looking forward to the return of Hong Kong to the motherland," he added.

    Throughout the years, Dai He'en has held various roles within the company, starting as a grassroots salesman and eventually ascending to management. This journey has granted him irsthand experience in every facet of food distribution to Hong Kong, allowing him to witness the deep afection the Mainland holds for compatriots in Hong Kong. Given that the sources of foodstufs supplied to Hong Kong are dispersed across numerous regions in the country, ensuring a consistent year-round supply poses a considerable challenge. He explained, "In the event of natural disasters and other special circumstances in the Mainland, such as the snowstorm in the South in 2008, the supply will be greatly afected. In times like those, we have to go to the source and help set up green transportation channels." Whenever the supply of foodstufs to Hong Kong encountered major diiculties, the relevant departments of the central government and local governments have coordinated to resolve the issues, with the central government providing protection where required.

    In early 2022, the ifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong led to the temporary suspension of operations at Sheung  Shui Slaughterhouse, signiicantly impacting the supply of fresh meat to the local market. To stabilize the livelihood market andimmediately address the situation, the Group swiftly established a leadership and coordination mechanism to support Hong Kong, which was activated quickly. The leadership and coordination team comprised 38 skilled slaughtering professionals from various locations, who ensured the food supply to Hong Kong remained uninterrupted.

    "It took only one week for the task force to arrive in Hong Kong,"Dai He'en said. Its members came from all over the country andthe branches they worked at deployed their best manpower to support such assistance. "The task force worked in Hong Kong for two months. During this period, they ensured the normal production and operation of Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, protected the normal supply of fresh meat to the Hong Kong market, and met the life needs of Hong Kong citizens," Dai He'enexplained.

    CR Ng Fung's task force entered Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse for production.

    Hu Changhang, a 26-year-old employee of China Resources Ng Fung Shanghai Food Co., Ltd.,joined the company in April 2021, taking on the responsibilities of slaughtering and modiied atmosphere packaging. When he learned about the opportunity to assist in the company's relief eforts in February 2022, this determined young man from Jiangxi promptly applied. "The company seeks capable, responsible, and diligent employees and manages them in a meticulous manner," Hu Changhang expressed. Meeting all of these criteria, he conidently fulilled the assigned tasks with both quality and quantity.

    Before departure, the task force members collectively studied the basic laws of Hong Kong and developed a basic understanding of Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse. "After arriving in Hong Kong on 2 March, we immediately began to familiarize ourselves with the operation of new machinery and equipment, and learn the safety requirements," Hu Changhang said. "In the early hours of 8 March, we started work without a moment's delay."

    Upon joining the task force, Hu Changhang experienced a fast-paced environment, high standards, tight deadlines, and immense pressure. He learned that Hong Kong citizens have stringent demands for food quality, and pork must be sold on the same day it is slaughtered, necessitating night-time operations at the slaughterhouses. Furthermore, there are variations in eating habits, such as the avoidance of animal ofal by Hong Kong citizens. Consequently, special precautions were taken to handle ofal carefully, ensuring it did not come into contact with fresh pork to avoid any contamination.

    One of the major challenges Hu Changhang faced was going from day shift to the night shift. He admits that it was diicult to get used to at irst: "We usually start at midnight and work until 7 a.m. My biggest challenge is to adjust my biological clock as soon as possible so that I can rest well during the day and work eiciently at night."

    As Dai He'en said, to successfully complete the task, they implemented local and closed-loop management of employees from the residence to the factory, and also set the "double-zero targets", that is, to ensure "zero infection and zero work-related injuries" among employees supporting Hong Kong. Fixed vehicles and drivers were arranged to transport employees from hotels to work sites, maintaining ongoing sanitization of both individuals and objects. The working area was subjected to closed management, with meticulous records maintained for vehicle and personnel access control. Strict monitoring of personnel temperature upon entering the premises was conducted, and additional provisions such as temporary special channels, dressing rooms, rest areas, restrooms, and isolation rooms were set up. Moreover, employees were ofered online psychological counseling through the Group's "e-Runxinfang" platform, providing a means to alleviate stress and seek support.

    Hu Changhang vividly remembered the irst gift package he got when he arrived at work, which included Yunnan Baiyao spray. "The muscles in your hands will be sore at every point of force if you are engaged in long hours of intense physical labor on assembly line machines. Therefore, the sprays prepared by colleagues in the Logistics Department were helpful enough to relieve pain and reduce the risk of injuries."

    What impressed him most was that on the day of his arrival, the Hong Kong citizens stretched red banners on the roadside to welcome the team, and the leaders of Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department came to ofer their support and send N95 masks, face masks, disinfectant spray, and other supplies. These heart-warming scenes have warmed the hearts of Hu Changhang and his teammates, giving them a lot of energy.

    Since the launch of CR Ng Fung's task force to support Hong Kong, the Hong Kong community has maintained a highdegree of concern for the task force. Hong Kong's media have also conducted publicity reports on the task force, which fully recognized its contribution to the supply of Hong Kong's fresh and live food. They believe that this relects the Central Government's.

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