News

Our response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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04/08/2020

The global outbreak of Coronavirus has touched every community and changed many of our lives. It has forced us all to adapt to a very different world with many new challenges. At Coca-Cola European Partners, we are playing our part in supporting our communities, customers and partners through this crisis and helping them recover.

At the beginning of this crisis, we took immediate actions to respond in four key areas: to protect the well-being of our people, to continue to serve our customers, to support our communities and to preserve the long-term future of our business. You can read more about each of these areas below.  

As countries and regions begin to re-open we are working alongside our colleagues, customers and communities to help them recover from the crisis.

We want businesses and governments to work together to achieve transformative science-based climate solutions following COVID-19. This means a sustainable and inclusive recovery, supported by a greater use of technology and digital tools.

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We have provided relief during the crisis through substantial financial aid, donating more than 600,000 unit cases of products and providing protective equipment to health workers.

Protecting our people

The commitment and care of our people allowed us to continue to operate and supply our customers and consumers with the products they asked for as the crisis emerged. We’re grateful to all of them for their hard work and dedication.

Our top priority remains keeping our people safe while they work. Our business has always applied world-class health and safety standards. We have implemented even more stringent protocols including temperature checks, social distancing measures like extra time between shift changes across all our sites, and increased remote working.

We also continue to provide comprehensive support for colleagues during this difficult time, including mental health support and specialist employee assistance programmes.

Coca-Cola European Partners protecting their employees during COVID-19

We have adopted more stringent protocols and enhanced hygiene procedures during the pandemic, to help keep our colleagues safe.

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Employees at our production site in Ghent are keeping products flowing to our customers while observing guidelines on social distancing.

Continuing to serve our customers

This remains a difficult and challenging time for many of our customers. To help them, we made adjustments to our production to ensure we’re delivering the products people are asking for in stores right now. We also redeployed people from other areas of the business to provide extra support for our grocery customers, and will continue to do what we can to support them.

Many of our customers in bars, restaurants and cafes have been heavily affected, and we’ve been working with them on a case by case basis to provide commercial support.  You can hear from our Chief Customer Service and Supply Chain Officer Jose Antonio Echeverria on how we’ve supported our customers while looking after our people here. And you can see the full list of initiatives we’re supporting to help our ‘away from home’ customers like bars, restaurants and cafes here.

As bars, restaurants and cafes re-open, we are working closely with all our customers to help them recover as quickly as possible. We’re determined to make the most of digital solutions to enable this recovery, better serve our customers and improve our supply chain.

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We are supporting our customers to rebuild, reopen and encourage trade – particularly our customers in the hospitality sector as they adapt to new social distancing regulations.

Bottles of Coca-Cola in a supermarket

Our field sales teams have been visiting our customers throughout the pandemic, helping to ensure they have stocked shelves with the products that consumers want.

 

Supporting our communities

We’ve been a close part of our communities for generations, through the people working at our local production sites, the drivers who deliver our products, and our sales people who are out every day working with our customers.

As the crisis began, we worked closely with The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation to provide substantial financial aid to fund the fight against Coronavirus, channeled through the Red Cross and local NGOs. Many colleagues continue to be personally involved in supporting the most vulnerable people in their local areas and we’re really proud of them.

You can hear from our Vice-President of Sustainability Joe Franses on how we initially supported local communities here and see more detail on these initiatives here.

As we move through this crisis, we are focused on helping our communities recover in a sustainable way and ensuring businesses and governments prioritise science-based climate action.

 

Coca-Cola European Partners support COVID-19 testing centre in Lisbon

In Portugal, we’re supporting a COVID-19 drive-through testing centre in Lisbon that produces results in under 10 minutes.

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We produced hand-sanitiser gel for healthcare workers and authorities on the frontline – this is the Coca-Cola site in Signes, France.

Wakefield NHS

We want to say a big thank you to healthcare workers in all of the countries where we work – here are our colleagues in Great Britain saying thank you to the National Health Service.

Protecting the long-term future of our business

We have taken the right actions now to protect our business for the longer-term and are working to lay the foundations for recovery alongside our partners at The Coca-Cola Company. Restrictions have changed shopping and lifestyle habits and the way people consume our products, and we are adapting our business accordingly to ensure a strong recovery for our customers and our business.