The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has imposed challenges on all industries across the business sector, and economic hardships in the FMCG sector. Maximising safety and precautionary measures have been priorities for companies to ensure ongoing business operations and the availability of products to consumers.
To fight economic hardships imposed by the pandemic, the Egyptian government implemented a strategy to support the business sector, as it navigated through the economic turmoil. The success of this strategy has been reflected through readiness of the most affected industries to re-operate as markets reopened.
With FMCG being a core industry touching the daily lives of consumers, Nestlé has worked on a health and safety strategy based on three main pillars: the safety of its people; ensuring ongoing business operations and productivity; and supporting the most vulnerable in communities in which it operates.
With people being at the heart of the company, Nestlé has taken comprehensive safety and precautionary measures that go in line with local and international health organisations. This includes the availability of sanitizers and face masks, as well as the disinfection of all premises, reducing capacity in employee transportation vehicles whilst also maintaining across-the-board social distancing.
Nestlé has also reduced capacity at all its premises, enabled individuals with chronic diseases to work remotely, and partnered with hospitals to run PCR tests for all employees when needed. The move has ensured that Nestlé has run the most PCR tests on its employees.
Moreover, front-liners in factories and distribution channels have been granted a three month financial bonus, as an act of gratitude for their commitment throughout such a critical period.
To ensure ongoing business operations and availability of products to consumers, the company boosted its stock of essential raw materials in preparation for any crisis that might affect cross-border trade. On the other hand, Nestlé worked with the relevant governmental entities to facilitate fleet mobility throughout the curfew.
In support of the community, Nestlé allocated a total of EGP 15.8mn in donations to three different purposes, including: prevention of the virus through providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) to hospitals; fighting the virus through equipping hospitals with ventilation machines; and third, supplying the most vulnerable families with food products reducing the impact of the lockdown. Partnerships with six different NGOs have been undertaken to reach underprivileged communities.
Nestlé’s support was not limited to its people and communities, with the company launching its “Always Open for You” initiative, in which it extended its support to its clients in the F&B sector. Through this initiative, Nestlé gave three months’ worth of products to 1,000 of its most prominent clients, to ease their open-up-process.
Due to its long-term presence in the local market spanning over 150 years, Nestlé is committed to the Egyptian market and economy. The company operates three factories in Egypt, providing 3,000 direct job opportunities and 8,000 indirect opportunities mostly to the country’s youth, and records a total of $50,000 annual exports