In the last 2 months, we have witnessed the development of the unprecedented corona virus pandemics. We have witnessed the reactions of governments, world organizations, businesses, the normal people all of which doing their best to preserve the physical, emotional and economical well-being.
There are limited preparations for the situation like the one caused by the corona virus. There are no books from which you can find out what is going to happen with people’s health, business, economy and society. Likewise, there are none who have experienced it before us, who could potentially share their knowledge. So fast has the pandemics developed. Simple - a big unknown.
In this situation, we in Coca‑Cola Hellenic stick to our values and our vision:
Caring deeply for our people, Learning from each and every situation, Acting with integrity and doing what is right, Performing as one we strive to amaze with our passion and determination with Customers and our community at the heart of everything we do.
In this situation, we have a special role as well – being a company in the food and beverage industry, that needs to make sure our products are available for our consumers and customers. This is why, from the very beginning of the crisis, we have put our priorities straight:
- The health and safe working conditions for of our employees
- Serve our customers and make our high quality drinks available to any consumer in Serbia.
- And the last but not the least, stay a true supporter of the local community.
And it was why we had to quickly adapt and to introduce new processes, practices, and together with our employees and partners, apply new models of work.
From very beginning we focused on re-organizing our working processes and providing personal protective materials to our front line employees in Manufacturing, Sales and Logistics. We re-routed our customers visits, based on the customers new working time, ensured safe transportation of our employees to our factories, maximized working from home. And many more new processes, lead by the above-mentioned priorities.
I would like to start by saying a big thank you to our front line people who demonstrated amazing resilience and attitude, doing their job every single day, serving our customers:
- Our sales people and merchandisers who were visiting and working together with our customers every day, making sure our products are available for every customer and shopper
- Our manufacturing people, producing our high quality brands
- Our warehouse and distribution people, ensuring the availability of our brands
I would like to say a big thank you also to our partners. Together we managed to add new value to our everyday work by being closer then ever. Thanks to the people that are valuable part of the Coca‑Cola System in Serbia, we have been able to maintain business continuity.
I would like to thank our customers and the employees of our customers. They are doing a critical job – providing access to food and beverages to people in these challenging times. Staying always at the front line. We managed to ensure protective equipment with one customer when it was almost impossible to find face masks at the market. We initiated small “thank you” packages to the cashiers in the outlets who have been working passionately and in very dangerous conditions.
I would like to thank our suppliers. Thanks also to them, we manage to ensure uninterrupted availability of our products. Working with our distribution partners to make our products available in markets that operated during emergency state.
And we didn't stop there. As a corporate citizen, we are always supporting the community in which we live and work for more than half of century.
Immediately after the declaration of the state of emergency, we focused or activities primarily to those who are on the front line of fight against COVID-19, medical professionals, the military, police, volunteers, as well as those who are most existentially vulnerable. We donated over 150 000lit of our products to several thousand employees of the Clinical Center of Serbia in cooperation with the B92 Fund, as well as members of the police, meals for medical workers in cooperation with our customer Wolt, IT equipment to the Clinical Center of Serbia, protective equipment.
As the Red Cross of Serbia supports the most vulnerable organizations and citizens we provided them our products, significant financial donation and even some number of our vehicles to distribute social packages. We are sure that with the donation of the 200 000 us dollars Red Cross from Coca‑Cola Foundation will be able to provide help to many people in need here in Serbia.
It’s fair to say that, just like us, many companies felt they needed to support their country and people at this time. This gives us the hope that regardless of the problems and threats, we recognize and live the right values - to make safe working conditions to our employees, to secure development of our business, but also to be there for each other.
And for generations to come...there will be numerous books and theories about the impact of the corona virus on the planet, politics, economics and even the way we live everyday life ... but also there will be plenty of real evidences that humanity is invincible!