Vulnerable families needing support as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and frontline workers battling the pandemic have received a total of Rs. 50 million in aid from Nestlé. In its second phase of relief efforts, Nestlé will be joined by its employees, who are voluntarily contributing part of their salary to help those in need. The company will match all employee contributions on a one-to-one basis.
“We have been with Sri Lanka over the last 114 years, through good times and bad. We have always cared deeply about the welfare of our people, consumers, farmers, business partners, and community at large. Today, we’re continuing to stand with them by doing whatever is in our power to help fight this pandemic, with resilience, courage, and a caring heart” said Fabrice Cavallin, Nestlé Lanka’s Managing Director.
The company has implemented comprehensive relief efforts to safeguard the wellbeing of its stakeholders across the value chain, as far as possible.
Consumers and the community: To continue to serve its consumers, Nestlé has been working tirelessly to ensure uninterrupted food supply. In support of the community, the company has contributed PPE (personal protective equipment) and food and beverages worth Rs. 50 million. These were directed to vulnerable families whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and to medical workers and the forces at the centre of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic – including the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Public Health Inspectors (PHIs), Army and Police.
Farmers: Nestlé is continuing to buy milk from its 14,000 farmers, to ensure their livelihoods are protected in these uncertain times. The company is also supporting other farmers unable to find buyers for their milk, by purchasing their milk where possible, to ensure they too continue to receive an income.
Business partners:The company is working closely with its suppliers to help them adapt their processes to work with minimal staff. They are also supporting and guiding them through the protocols necessary to set up operations, in line with national health and safety recommendations. To help minimise financial impact for its distributor partners, Nestlé is helping them set up mobile stores and home delivery business models, and to supply to e-commerce sites. The company is also providing its distributor sales reps masks, sanitisers and regular guidance on health and safety measures.
Employees: Nestlé has closely followed health recommendations by the WHO and Sri Lankan health authorities to implement safe working arrangements for its employees. These include work segregation, social distancing, safe transportation, temperature monitoring, using sanitisers and masks, and working from home. This is supported by regular communication to employees on how they and their families can protect themselves, and guidance for self-isolation if an employee feels they or a family member are at risk of infection.
Hansika Nilanga, Grama Niladhari of the Madiriwila area, handing over donations to the needy on Nestlé’s behalf
Nestlé has also expanded employees’ health insurance benefits to cover online consultations, prescription delivery, and prescribed COVID-19 testing. Further, a number of virtual engagement programmes and other supportive material are rolled out to employees every week to support their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
“At times like this is when companies like Nestlé must demonstrate their values and walk the talk. We’re proud to not only be able to ensure our consumers continue to receive our products, but also to help take care of our people, farmers, suppliers and business partners, and help others most vulnerable in this situation. We’re proud to be doing the best we can” added Fabrice Cavallin.
*Photo caption: Fabrice Cavallin, Nestlé Lanka Managing Director (left) and Enoca Sirimanne, Nestlé Lanka VP – Human Resources, packing the Nestlé food and beverages to be donated
Read the press release in Sinhala