In the past few months, COVID-19 has rapidly spread throughout the world, and its long-term effects are still largely unknown. While this pandemic had produced horrible consequences, we have seen incredible changes in society that will be with us long past COVID-19.
Overall, we are seeing a greater focus on personal health and self-care. As a society, we have come to realize the best way to tackle a pandemic is being proactive. What is even more incredible is how we have come together as a society. From heroic efforts of healthcare workers to companies looking beyond their profit and loss statement, this pandemic has forced both people and companies alike to change their behavior in both the short- and long-term.
As a CBD company, we are familiar with taking action in uncertain times. Being nimble has been a key to our success, and the team is always up for a new challenge. Our first priority is always to our consumers, and making sure they are safe and healthy. With the hand sanitizer shortage in March, we quickly worked with our manufacturers to create Medterra Hand Sanitizers. To help fight the widespread price gouging, we included a free Medterra Hand Sanitizer in every online order received in April and May.
As we saw our customers and retail partners seeking additional products focused on immunity, our team started developing a product that boosts your immune system. This meant thinking beyond CBD and tapping into a variety of powerful, natural ingredients. Consulting with Medterra’s medical advisory team, we developed an innovative herbal blend that acted on both the innate and adaptive immune functionality. This newest addition to our product line pairs 750mg of Medterra's CBD with elderberry, Vitamin C, ginger root and Echinacea for additional natural defense.
To keep our fulfillment up and running, we applied strict social distancing in our warehouse. We also leveraged third-party logistic companies to not only keep a stable supply chain, but also improve delivery timing. With these changes, we were able to continue the steady supply of wholesale products to our retail partners in over 18,000 locations. In addition, if any of our retail partners, small or large, needed extended terms on a payment to stay afloat, we made sure they prioritized their business needs over us.
Finally, and most importantly, we knew we had to do our part with the health care workers on the frontlines. While it is nothing compared to their daily sacrifice, we donated 15,000 of our Medterra CBD tinctures to healthcare providers in the U.S. With their non-stop hours, we hoped the free product could help them relax and recover in between shifts.
All of this quick work would not have been possible without the amazing Medterra team. As soon as our team recognized the threats from the rapid spread of this virus, we hosted a town hall with our entire company to address our employees’ worries or questions. In early March, we officially shut down the office and moved to remote work. Despite a huge change in how we operated day to day, the team has worked harder and become more efficient. These last few months have brought us closer together as a company. I have no doubt many companies are also experiencing this.
We’ve prioritized employee health by implementing a new sick day policy, where employees have no limit to the amount of sick days they can take. COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of staying home when you are unwell. We have made our unlimited sick day policy permanent at Medterra. With no pressure to come to work if our employees are sick, we know we will all be safer and healthier as company.
Without our consumers, partners and employees, Medterra would be nothing. Without dedicated medical workers, scientists, pharmacists, grocery store employees, government officials, transportation professionals, manufacturers, utility workers and all those leaving their homes every day to fight this virus, our country and world would be nothing. These efforts are inspiring, and we know the world is taking notice.
We still have a lot to learn about this virus and what it means for our world’s future. Yet with all of this uncertainty, the one thing I can be certain about is how we all can come together in trying times. Everyone is playing their part during this pandemic and while the world is hurting now, I cannot help but be optimistic about our future beyond COVID-19.
Jay Hartenbach is co-founder and CEO of Medterra, a marketer of CBD products and member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition of companies in the hemp industry. Hartenbach received his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Miami University in 2012, then he pursued a Master of Engineering Management at Duke University while also starting an online skincare start-up Clearall Skincare. After graduating, Jay spent nearly four years working at IBM before getting together with his former Miami college mate, J.P. Larsen, and together they founded Medterra.