THE WHAT? Unilever has announced a wide-ranging set of measures aimed at supporting global and national efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
THE DETAILS The Anglo-Dutch FMCG manufacturer will contribute €100 million to help fight against the pandemic through donations of soap, sanitiser, bleach and food.
It will also offer €500m of cash flow relief to support livelihoods across its extended value chain, including early payments for vulnerable small and medium-sized suppliers to ease liquidity, as well as extending credit to selected small-scale retail customers whose business relies on Unilever, to help them manage and protect jobs.
As for jobs at Unilever itself, the manufacturer of Dove has pledged to protect its workforce from sudden drops in pay for up to three months. The measure will be extended to all employees, contractors and other workers based on its sites either full- or part-time that are not covered by government plans or their direct employer.
THE WHY? With strong cash flow, Unilever is not only well placed to help but also knows that companies will be judged by their reaction to this crisis (looking at you Sports Direct). “We are deeply saddened by the terrible impact that coronavirus is wreaking on lives and livelihoods everywhere,” said Alan Jope, CEO. “The world is facing its greatest trial in decades. We have seen the most incredible response from the Unilever team so far, especially those on the front line of our operations in factories, distribution centres and stores.
“We hope that our donation of €100m of soap, sanitizer, bleach and food will make a significant contribution towards protecting people’s lives, and that by helping to safeguard our workers’ incomes and jobs, we are giving some peace of mind during these uncertain times. Our strong cash flow and balance sheet mean that we can, and should, give this additional support.”