Nestlé steps up global response to COVID-19 pandemic, joins forces with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Vevey, Switzerland,Mar 26, 2020
At Nestlé, we care deeply for people and for the communities in which we operate, and we have an essential role to play during the COVID-19 crisis. Food and beverages help keep people healthy and enhance their quality of life. We care about our responsibility to provide good nutrition, especially for the most vulnerable in society – children, the elderly and those struggling with illness.
We would like to assure our customers and consumers that we will continue to produce and deliver products to meet global demand. Our people are fully committed and are working tirelessly to ensure that supply is maintained. We are working very hard to keep them healthy and safe. In recent weeks, we have implemented enhanced safety measures at all our sites, with particular focus on our frontline workers in Nestlé factories, quality labs and distribution centers. Also, where needed, we are offering free meals and transport for staff to help reduce the risk they fall ill. In addition, we have put in place generous sick leave arrangements for those who contract the virus and will provide cash loans or advances for those in financial distress. All hourly and salaried staff affected by temporary stoppages will be paid in full for a minimum of twelve weeks1.
Since the very beginning of this crisis, our people have led substantial local relief efforts in the communities around the globe where we operate. We have provided support to charities, medical institutions and other organizations in the frontline of the fight against this pandemic. We have worked very closely with physicians to develop new tailored COVID-19 medical nutrition and supplement treatment protocols. We have also donated to food banks and food delivery organizations to support people in need. And we are providing prompt and pragmatic support to our business partners, for example in our supply chains, who are affected by this crisis. Our efforts are continuing - and stepping up - around the world.
Partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Building on these humanitarian efforts, we announced today that we are joining forces with the IFRC in response to its emergency appeal. The IFRC is a strong and trusted global partner of Nestlé, with unmatched presence and expertise in providing first aid, emergency response and epidemic control. The Red Cross and Nestlé were both established over a century ago. We have common roots in Switzerland and are present in almost every country in the world. We share common values, including a determination to make a difference on the ground. As part of the emergency response, the IFRC is providing immediate help to strengthen health care systems, where the need is greatest.
Initially, we will work together in four ways to provide urgent help for emergency services and caregivers and strengthen healthcare systems.
- We will donate food, medical nutrition products and bottled water to bring relief to those most affected by the pandemic.
- We will deploy available logistics capacities from our out-of-home business to support the needs of the IFRC in various countries.
- We will donate CHF 10 million for immediate deployment in countries where it is most needed.
- We will match 1:1 any donations to the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies or Federation made by our employees.
Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, said: "Now is the time to demonstrate the values of the Nestlé family. I am deeply impressed and humbled by what our team has accomplished in order to support individuals and communities affected by this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global problem and consequently we are offering help on the ground everywhere, drawing on our extensive presence and experience in 187 countries. In addition, we give our full support to those who are fighting tirelessly against the spread of the virus, every day. This is where our trusted and longstanding partnership with the IFRC comes in. We applaud the relentless efforts of the millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and admire their determination to make a difference on the ground."
1 These measures depend on local labor laws and regulations
Editor's Note: Nestlé also recently published its Annual Report for 2019. Read more here.