Amid the global health concern about the coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting disruption of supply chains and markets, more and more companies and industries are rapidly shifting focus to make a positive contribution and support their customers and communities. Here are just a few examples from around the world:
- German chemical giant BASF is one of the largest suppliers of povidone-iodine, a broad-spectrum antibacterial and antiviral agent. The company also produces medical-grade plastics and plastic additives that are desperately needed in medical care settings around the world. The company is working around the clock to meet the new demand, delivering chemical solutions to hospitals and medical suppliers.
- British brewery Diageo is donating the alcohol needed to make more than 8 million bottles of hand sanitizer for healthcare workers, while independent brewery BrewDog is making hand sanitizer to be given away to charities and support the health of their local community.
- The legendary L’Oreal beauty company is taking many steps to help combat the coronavirus, including intensifying production of hydroalcoholic gels. The gels will be distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmacies, as well as to food retailers to help protect critical employees. The company is also easing the financial burden on small businesses in the beauty industry, by freezing payments that would normally be due from hair salons, perfumeries, and other L’Oreal partners.
- Dutch multinational DSM, with their focus on nutrition, science, and health, has announced that they will make more than 130,000 litres of hand sanitizer for health care workers. The company is scaling up production capacity to prevent shortages, and is donating the sanitizer to hospitals and care facilities at no cost.
- Luxury brand LVMH is also in the hand sanitizer business now, with factories that normally produce high-end perfumes and cosmetics also making huge quantities of hydroalcoholic gels. These antibacterial products will be given directly to French health authorities free of charge, to be used as needed.
- Chinese mega-retailer Alibaba is being proactive and is sending over 1 million testing kits, 6 million face masks, and 60,000 protective suits to Ethiopia, to be distributed throughout Africa and help curb the spread of the disease.
- During the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in February, electronics giant Foxconn started making surgical masks alongside iPhones.
- Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewing company, has begun making hand sanitizer to fill the new urgent need. The company has a massive supply and logistics network that can be deployed to deliver the new sanitizer, and they are working with the American Red Cross to determine where it is most needed.
Food suppliers like Cargill and Puratos understand that their role is more critical now than ever, and are taking every step to ensure the safety of their employees and customers while continuing to stock the groceries that Europe relies upon for survival.
One of the most important duties we all have in this moment is to behave responsibly and care for each other, our companies, and our coworkers in this time. In addition to maintaining personal distance, washing hands, and using protective gear when necessary, we have a responsibility to not participate in the spread of disinformation about the virus. Make sure that your behaviour is recommended by medical professionals and based in science, that your information comes from reliable sources, and don’t share misinformation with others. We need to stop the spread of inaccurate information as much as we need to stop the spread of the virus.
At grapefrute, we are happy to see our industry and business partners stepping up and responding to the crisis. We support these efforts and are doing our part to make sure that these great companies have the talent they need during these challenging times.