Our response to COVID-19
Around the world Nestlé is working hard to continue supplying food and drink through the challenges created by the current pandemic. This includes, as our top priority, keeping our employees healthy, safe and supported and helping with local relief efforts in the communities where Nestlé operates. We have joined forces with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to make CHF 10 million (more than £8 million) available in countries where it is most needed. We are matching 1:1 any donations made by our employees to the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies or Federation. We have also pledged CHF 1 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is playing an important role in funding and speeding up the development of possible COVID-19 vaccines. To find out more about Nestlé’s response around the world click here.
Here in the UK & Ireland
Across the UK & Ireland, teams of people from across Nestlé are supplying the nation with food and drink at a time of increased demand and we are working hard to keep our people safe and to support our communities.
We have signed up to the C-19 business pledge and, in doing so, have committed to tackling Coronavirus in three key areas: for our people, for our communities and for our customers.
For our people:
- We have been working together with our two Trade Unions, GMB and Unite, since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on important issues around employee safety, working conditions and maintaining supply.
- Those employees who can work from home have been doing so since March.
- Those that need to go into the workplace, including in supply, distribution and manufacturing, are doing so with enhanced safety and hygiene standards and strict social distancing measures.
- Any employees with symptoms are not attending work and will continue to be paid in full.
- People in the vulnerable category are being paid in full for the 12 weeks they need to be away from work in line with government guidance.
- At each of our Nestle managed locations in the UK Market we have undertaken a specific ‘Covid-19 Secure’ Risk Assessment.
For our communities:
- We are donating more than £4 million of products to the NHS as well as other key workers and food banks. This total includes almost a million cups of coffee, more than 250,000 bottles of water and nearly three million confectionery products.
- We are supporting food banks across the country with additional products through our partnership with Fareshare in the UK and FoodCloud in Ireland.
- We have contributed to the food packages being sent to 1.5m vulnerable people identified by the UK government.
- In York, our Product Technology Centre for Confectionery, has been involved in a community effort to make face visors by supplying 3D printed parts.
- Our team at Buxton has a dedicated group of people working on donating natural water to the local community.
- We are matching the donations of individual employees to the British and Irish Red Cross on a 1:1 basis, and encouraging our employees to volunteer for them in their communities.
For our customers and our suppliers:
- We are being flexible with our delivery lead times for customers and either lengthening or shortening them to support any challenges our retail partners are experiencing in their own networks.
- We are delivering to new distribution points set up by retailers to cope with the more unpredictable patterns of demand that the pandemic has caused.
- We have put in place a strict ‘fair share’ allocation for any our products that risk being in short supply so that there is good food availability across different channels and outlets.
- We are working closely with our suppliers and extending our orders of packaging and raw materials further into the future to allow our suppliers more time to plan and meet our expected demand.
- We are making sure that our partners who provide in store activation and sales are being paid in full while they undertake alternative work from home.
- We are reducing payment terms with our suppliers where needed.
- The service we have received from our own direct suppliers has been exceptional through a difficult period and demonstrates how everybody throughout the supply chain is working hard to supply the nation with food and drink.
- Through our “Always Open For You” initiative we are supporting the out-of-home and hospitality industry, extending and offer flexibility on payment terms, suspending rental fees on coffee machines and offering additional, bespoke support for our most vulnerable customers.
There are challenges for all industries at the moment but I want to reassure you that Nestlé is overcoming those challenges and continues to supply the nation with food and drink.
Stefano Agostini, Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO
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