COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all our lives and sadly with tragic consequences for too many families.

The implications of the necessary restrictions imposed by governments and public health authorities continue to affect the daily movements of millions of people and the trading activities of all businesses.

As a large multi-national organisation, we are very much aware of our responsibilities to a wide range of stakeholders and we are committed to meeting those responsibilities as fully as we can.

PROTECTING THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF OUR PEOPLE

Our first priority is the health safety and wellbeing of our 32,000 people around the world. They are doing a tremendous job in dealing with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and we would like to thank them all for their exceptional efforts.

We have strengthened our IT infrastructure and accelerated the roll-out of software to facilitate team-working to support employees working from home. Our sales teams have done an outstanding job in maintaining relationships with retailers and in some markets, employees have started to slowly, and safely, return to the field.

We advocate flexible working and have encouraged our people to find a routine that works best for them and their families. We communicate regularly with employees and have initiated a number of surveys to check-in on their well-being. Feedback tells us that overall, employees continue to feel positive despite the challenging circumstances.

We also recognise the impact COVID-19 is having on the wider communities in which we operate and we have stepped up our support through a number of local initiatives.

 

MAINTAINING SUPPLY TO CUSTOMERS

We are grateful for the hard work of our manufacturing and supply chain colleagues, which has helped to keep the majority of our operations running during this period.

Our operations benefit from a diversified supply chain and factory footprint, which has had to respond to rapid changes in demand and operating conditions. We have 38 factories and it is a credit to our manufacturing teams they have kept the vast majority operating throughout the crisis. This has been achieved with reconfigured factory layouts and changing shift patterns to ensure infection controls and social distancing measures are in place to protect the safety of our people.

We have experienced some temporary government-enforced closures of certain smaller facilities and, although these have now reopened, it is with reduced capacity. We have prioritised the manufacture of major product lines to build contingency stocks with our finished goods inventories averaging around 8-10 weeks.

 

  • The UK Government has required businesses to publish the results of their COVID-19 risk assessments. For a summary of the steps we’ve taken to keep our UK employees, contractors and visitors safe please click here