From the Frontlines: Battling COVID-19

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

The Store Brands editorial team is reaching out to industry leaders on the challenges they are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. In this installment, a producer of toilet tissue and paper towels remarks on the "absolutely unprecedented time" we're living in and a pet products producer steps up to fill a beef shortage.

Please share your experience with Dan Ochwat, executive editor, Store Brands, at [email protected].


Nick Galante

Nick Galante, chief executive officer, Select Product Holdings, Huntington, N.Y.

“Select is running all production lines above full capacity and taking the best care we can of our customers who are all ordering huge amounts above their prior year’s needs. We have additional capacity that is on order that will be up and running in the fall, and we only wish we could get it here faster.”

Galante added that with respect to toilet tissue and paper towels, two of the largest products that Select Products produces, the company is living in an “absolutely unprecedented time,”  adding that like he’s seeing in the national media, “we really don’t understand why consumers are hoarding the large amounts they seem to be, as there is ample supply, and all U.S. tissue producers are running at full capacity.”

He said even in states where the virus is acute, naming at the time New York and California, the governors have considered paper products to be essential and therefore able to be in full operation and the company is doing its part.

Stephen Trachtenberg, president of Chasing Our Tails, Jefferson, Minn.

A producer of “farm-to-pet-bowl” products for the private brand industry, the company has been asked by small local groceries in rural southwest Minnesota to help alleviate the beef shortage in town, Trachtenberg said. 

“We have sourced locally raised Feeder Cattle to provide critically needed fresh meat locally. We are processing in my own USDA slaughter facility to provide these items locally. This is not our normal production, but rather what is needed currently by our communities.”

Trachtenberg added that the team is working overtime with the USDA to mitigate the supply-side challenges. “My entire team from farmer to slaughter to processing to delivery are committed to providing fresh wholesome beef to our communities.”


Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro, chief executive officer, Better Meat, Sacramento, Calif.

The Better Meat Co. has ended staff travel for the time being, requires six-foot distance between staff members, and has twice-daily disinfecting parties in our facility. We've had no COVID-related staff departures.”