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Update: Hemlock’s Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak


Hemlock continues to make adjustments to our operations in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis. We have compiled a list of important updates, following up our last communication on March 17.


Government of British Columbia – List of COVID-19 Essential Services

Released March 26th and updated on April 3rd, the Government of British Columbia released a list of services which are “essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.”

The list was developed by Emergency Management BC in consultation with other government ministries and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).

As a major manufacturer within the Metro Vancouver area, Hemlock provides e-commerce, IT, print production, mailing, warehousing and distribution services which support the continued operation of other essential organizations, both public and private.

Our customers include Municipal Governments, Provincial and Federal Agencies, Crown Corporations and other essential organizations across multiple sectors including food and agriculture, retail, transportation, manufacturing, communications and financial.

Based on the definition and guidelines set forth by the Government of BC, Hemlock continues to operate as an essential service during this crisis.

Learn more about the BC Government Essential Services List.


Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

We are ensuring full compliance with the Guidance for BC Manufacturers developed and published by the Government of BC on March 25th.

We are assessing our workplace practices on a daily basis and making ongoing improvements to ensure we are adhering to all social distancing, cleaning and hygiene guidelines set forth by the Public Health Officer.

These preventative measures, along with all those listed within our March 17 update remain in effect until further notice.


Flexible Business Response

As with most organizations in Canada, and around the world, we have experienced an impact on our overall business activity as a result of the outbreak.

Effective Monday March 30th, we transitioned all Production and Office staff to reduced hours to prepare for a federally supported Work Sharing program which enables us to reduce our capacity to an appropriate level, while retaining our staff through this temporary downturn.

This flexible model provides us with the ability to scale our production capacity as needed, on very short notice if necessary.

Being in a high-service industry, our ability to respond quickly to customer requests remains extremely important as governments, affiliated agencies and organizations across multiple sectors must rapidly adapt and respond to the changing environment. 


Stable Supply Chains and Continuity Planning

We have not experienced, nor do we anticipate, any interruptions in our supply chains during the outbreak period.

These supply chains include our supply of paper, ink, printing plates and other materials used within our processes, none of which have experienced interruptions in supply to date.

We are in regular contact with our key suppliers to ensure a reliable and continued availability of all necessary materials, maintenance support and subtrade services.

As noted on our March 17th update, should the outbreak have a direct impact on our operations, we continue to maintain the availability of partner facilities within Canada and the US to ensure continuity of production should the need arise.


Remote Press Approvals and Quality Checks

We are now utilizing video conferencing and high-resolution photography to connect customers to our production teams to ensure we achieve the desired quality levels on active print projects.

This technology can be used by clients to discuss their quality requirements, live with our operators, without leaving their homes or offices.

To learn more about this new offering, visit our Inklings blog post.


COVID-19 Infographic Posters Program

We are pleased to partner with HP, Spicers and Novex Couriers to deliver, free of charge, Infographic signage which communicates the practices we must all apply to effectively flatten the COVID-19 curve.

To learn more about this program, visit our Inklings blog post, or by visiting the ordering page.

The program is specifically directed to organizations within the Vancouver Lower Mainland, but if you are interested in receiving posters outside of this area, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate.


It has become clear that our fight against this virus will take place over the weeks and months ahead and we remain committed to doing our part, working in close partnership with our staff, suppliers, customers and the wider community. We thank you for your ongoing support and please do not hesitate to reach out to your primary Hemlock contact with any questions or feedback.


Richard Kouwenhoven
President & COO