General news

27 March 2020

Cawthron’s essential laboratory services to continue under Alert Level 4

Further to our recent update letting you know that our testing services will continue during the Level 4 alert period, we want to provide you with some more clarity on how we can support you.
We know you will be receiving many email communications from suppliers and services outlining their plans, so we’ve tried to keep this update short and helpful, based on questions we have received from some of our customers.

Our services during Alert Level 4

Cawthron will be listed as an essential service for Essential Businesses very shortly as laid out on the Government's COVID-19 website. We recognise that this is a fluid situation and we will adapt to changes as advised by the Government.

We will continue to deliver almost all of our testing capability for the time being, with the intention of maintaining business as usual wherever possible and practical for Essential Businesses only. However, we are working with reduced staff capacity, and in the medium term we may be constrained further by availability of lab consumables, chemicals or further staff absences.

Please note that we will not be processing new stability trials until Alert Level 4 has passed, so we would ask that you please do not send them to us. We will notify you when we are able to accept these.

How we prioritise samples

We will prioritise environmental public drinking water safety and food safety testing first and in the following order:

  1. Perishable Food Samples
  2. Recognised Laboratory Programme (RLP) testing
  3. Other food/nutraceutical safety testing

Please note that we cannot guarantee to meet customer requests for urgency during this time.

Turnaround times

Whilst we will make every effort to achieve our standard turnaround times, please assume that these will be delayed. Turnaround times could move from days to weeks in certain circumstances.

In-Progress Testing

Results for in-progress testing for Essential Businesses will continue as planned.

Results for in-progress testing for non-Essential Businesses will be completed as soon as we can.

How you can help us to help you

There are a few small ways you can assist us to help you:

  1. Stay in your bubble: Essential Businesses can continue to drop off samples in our outside sample box and ring the white bell but do not enter our building.
  2. Is this testing required now? Please consider if what you are sending for analysis is required at this time.
  3. Reduce enquiries to us: We realise that certainty and information is important right now, however our reduced staffing levels means we have been inundated responding to email and phone queries which is impacting on our ability to conduct analyses and verify and authorise results. Please do not call us. If you do email us, please be aware that we may not be able to provide our usual rapid response.
  4. Pay invoices on time: our monthly invoicing process for March and April 2020 will now take place in May. We ask that non-monthly invoiced customers pay on time wherever possible. Please notify us if you anticipate any issue with payment.

We will continue to send regular updates should our service levels change. Please feel free to share this with others in your organisation who may find this information useful.
He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together. Take care everyone.