Like many of you, we have been closely watching the status of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Firstly, our thoughts and well wishes are with the people who have been affected by the virus, as well as everyone who is working to protect our impacted communities. These are challenging times for everyone, and we are doing our part to help prevent further spread of the virus while continuing to support the needs of our employees, consumers, customers and communities.
As a matter of principle, we will always put the health, safety and security of our employees, consumers, customers and communities first. Our company’s approach in this difficult situation is grounded in our purpose, which puts people first and ensures we have the right plans in place to adequately respond to the needs of our communities.
Protecting the health and well-being of our employees
To ensure we can continue to make the beverages our communities need, our production and distribution facilities continue to operate, but have adjusted their ways of working to protect everyone’s safety and well-being.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, we have increased sanitation and deep-cleaning routines and have taken steps to restrict visitors to our facilities. We are reducing person-to-person interactions and practicing social distancing based on the most up-to-date guidance from public health officials.
We continue to provide detailed guidance to help keep our employees informed and their workspaces safe. Our leadership is meeting regularly to assess the status of COVID-19 with a focus on any critical impacts to our employees and facilities.
We have reinforced hygiene and exposure guidelines with our employees. If we become aware that an employee is ill or had direct or indirect contact with someone with COVID-19, we immediately implement our isolation and sanitization protocols and begin any necessary quarantines, in line with guidance from local health officials.
Encouraging Remote Working
In line with recommendations from public health officials, we have asked our office-based employees to work remotely. We are continually evaluating our plans as the situation evolves.
We have suspended most travel at this time. This applies to both international and domestic travel.
Providing a pay premium to our front-line workers at our Peterborough manufacturing facility
Beverage manufacturing has been deemed an essential service by federal and provincial governments. Our supply chain will continue to meet the needs of Canadians who are purchasing food and beverages from their local stores.
To continue to support our people, we have made the decision to temporarily increase compensation for our warehouse and distribution colleagues. This is a token of our gratitude for the incredible and hardworking employees who are supplying the needs of the community and local retailers by keeping Canadians hydrated during these difficult times.
Prioritizing safety in production and security of supply while continuing to serve our customers and consumers
Rapid Response Resource website now available for our local foodservice partners
We have launched a resource website to help support the foodservice industry and our restaurant partners who have been highly impacted as a result of the pandemic.
This website will provide the industry with access to curated content and free resources to assist foodservice operators throughout the crisis and as our economy begins to reopen. This includes tips for optimizing takeout and drive-thru operation, the latest on COVID-19 safety and equipment operation guidelines for restaurants, quick links to government resources, information on third-party delivery services, assistance with optimizing digital platforms, and much more.
Serving Customers and Consumers
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, we have been focused on ensuring our products are delivered safely to the stores and communities that need them, while taking every precaution to protect our employees’ well-being. This includes water, juice, milk and our sparkling beverages.
Local grocery stores, retailers and restaurants are working hard to ensure families can get the food, beverages and supplies they need during this challenging time. We are doing everything we can to support these businesses and everyone they serve.
Ensuring Product Safety and Availability
The safety and quality of our products are top priorities for us, and we can say with confidence that our products are safe.
For our customers, we continue to offer a seamless, best-in-class experience, and are maintaining business continuity plans that we can implement to address any supply chain challenges, should they arise. We’re also working closely with our suppliers to ensure that they are prepared.
We continue to monitor the situation closely, as we know it is evolving daily and will continue to be agile to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and consumers.
Supporting local communities throughout Canada
We want to extend our sincerest gratitude to those who are working hard on the front lines to protect our impacted communities and prevent the spread of the virus.
Partnering with Sheridan College to design, manufacture and distribute protective countertop shield barriers for small businesses
Small businesses are the fabric of our local communities – and that is why Coca-Cola in Canada and Sheridan College announced a new partnership to produce and distribute protective countertop shields for small businesses.
These cashier shields will be installed in local convenience stores and restaurants across Ontario and will act as a protective barrier between customers and store staff. This will ensure the businesses can operate while maintaining physical distancing measures.
The two designs for these protective shields are available here. This open-source design ensures that other businesses and organizations can have access to them.
The Coca-Cola Foundation donates USD $1.5M to Canadian organizations
The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, announced a total of US $13.5 million in grants to five non-profit organizations that are working on the front lines of the U.S. and Canadian humanitarian response to COVID-19.
These grants support organizations focused on providing relief to first responders and residents of economically disadvantaged communities. The company and the Foundation will continue to evaluate additional opportunities for grants around the world as the crisis evolves.
Globally, The Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed over $120M to support COVID-19 relief efforts in affected communities, including two grants totalling approximately $2M CAD to local organizations here in Canada.
The two Canadian organizations receiving grants immediately are:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada: A grant of US$750,000 (~ C$1 million) will help provide food and essentials for families and club employees who are struggling; care for children of emergency health workers; mental health and counseling services; and other emergency needs.
- Food Banks Canada: A grant of US$750,000 (~ C$1 million) will help provide food to communities during the outbreak, supporting a network of more than 650 food bank organizations and 4,500 distribution centres.
Donating product to communities and front-line workers
As we navigate through these unprecedented times, we continue to support many requests in our local communities. This includes supporting frontline health care workers, first responders and food banks, wherever possible.
So far, the Coca-Cola Canada system has donated thousands of cases of product to local communities across the country and we will continue these efforts.
Last Updated: June 23, 2020 at 4:19 PM EDT