Nestlé pumps more than £9m into coronavirus fight

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle heads our roll call of food firms supporting the fight against coronavirus
Nestle heads our roll call of food firms supporting the fight against coronavirus

Related tags coronavirus Finance Supply chain

Nestlé's investment in countering COVID-19’s impact totals more than £9m to date, as a raft of other food firms reveal the industry’s latest efforts to battle the virus.

Nestlé has pledged 1m Swiss Francs (£839,725 at exchange rates as of 26 May, 12 noon) to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)​, which is playing an important role in funding and speeding up the global development of vaccines. 

Separately, Nestlé is donating SFr10m (£8.39m) to the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) around the world. The partnership will see the British Red Cross receive £155,000 and the Irish Red Cross get €60,000 (£53,380) to support local relief efforts. Nestlé is also matching the donations of individual employees on a 1:1 basis.

The aid represents the latest in a host of other initiatives from industry​ to tackle the effects of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Hovis donated almost 30,000 loaves of bread in April alone to FareShare, the UK’s largest and longest-running food redistribution charity, to help keep Britain fed and reduce food waste. The longstanding bakery brand, which has backed FareShare since 2017, said it had increased the number of loaves it donated in order to meet a surge in demand for bread from the charity’s recipients.

Red Cross partners FareShare

The British Red Cross has partnered with FareShare to continue to get emergency food parcels to vulnerable people across the UK. Working together, they are using FareShare’s food redistribution warehouses and UK-wide network of 11,000 frontline charities and the Red Cross’s crisis response volunteers, equipment, space and resources to boost the amount of food distributed to the needy.

The two charities are sourcing food and creating a ‘last mile’ delivery service that will see British Red Cross community reserve volunteers packing and delivering food parcels from local distribution hubs onto doorsteps. Almost 1,400 Red Cross community reserve volunteers have so far signed up to sort, pack and deliver food to charities at FareShare’s 24 regional warehouses, with many already having started their first shift. 

Kilmarnock-based Fergusons Bakery and Lamond the Baker have been supporting the local Ayrshire East Foodbank​ and have donated products to help those most in need. They have set up a call service, which is open Monday to Friday 10am-2pm for anyone in the community in need of emergency food.

Yorkshire seafood manufacturer Whitby Seafoods has given away free seafood products to well-deserving key workers. The company partnered with Dennis Crooks Fish Merchants and skipper Dave Price and his crew of the fishing vessel ‘Wakeful’ to give as many local key workers freshly caught cod and free scampi. An event was held on 9 May at Fairfield Way Business Park, the location of Whitby Seafoods’ head office. The giveaway was announced on social media. People were asked to bring along appropriate ID and remain in their vehicles. In total, 100 bags of Whitby Seafoods’ Jumbo Scampi were snapped up.

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