International catering management and training business, MCTC, has urged the industry to pull together to aid seafarers’ overall wellbeing. The comments are in response to the Seafarers Happiness Index which indicates that seafarers are feeling additional pressure and stress due to the unsustainable levels of additional tasks required, to ensure maximum hygiene on vessels during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies have also been telling seafarers to stay healthy and boost their immune systems to help beat COVID-19 but have failed to invest in better quality food with the result that seafarers have been left feeling helpless and vulnerable.
Christian Ioannou, MCTC’s Managing Director, said: “Our seafarers have rallied together to keep trade flowing during COVID-19, yet our industry is failing them. Ship owners and ship managers need to invest in good catering management onboard vessels. Research indicates that food is pivotal not only for nutritional benefits but also improving mental wellbeing.
“Assuming crew are trained correctly, there’s no reason why COVID-19 should increase work tasks on board to maintain high standards of hygiene. MCTC has done specific webinars for our crew to educate them and also to demonstrate that we understand their challenges and are supporting them each step of the way”, explains MCTC’s Managing Director, Christian Ioannou.
MCTC has a series of guidelines for crew to follow giving individual steps towards food safety and hygiene related to COVID-19, alongside suggestions for the crew on board should an outbreak occur. As part of MCTC’s wider social responsibility, it is re-issuing its COVID-19 guidelines to the broader industry, in addition to its clientele.
“The Seafarers Happiness Index makes alarming reading for the maritime sector. We all have a responsibility to support our seafarers in whatever way we can. MCTC wants to educate the industry to take pressure off seafarers and we feel that we can help achieve that by sharing our COVID-19 guidance widely. Nutritious and wholesome food has a big impact on mental and physical health, both of which help in the fight against COVID-19. Let’s all pull together to support our seafarers,” he added.