|Managing director of Nestlé Vietnam Binu Jacob presenting a donation to Dong Nai authorities |
Pham Truong Tam, director of Hung Yen Industrial Zones Management Authority, lauded Nestlé Vietnam’s donation, calling the company an exemplary investor in the northern province. He highlighted that the company has been constantly expanding manufacturing activities and generating employment while contributing to the budget and ensuring strict compliance with the law. Also, the company has been actively pursuing corporate social responsibility activities to support the local community during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nestlé Vietnam’s contribution to the COVID-19 vaccine fund once again confirmed that they stand heart and soul on the side of Vietnam and Hung Yen,” he added. “We highly appreciate the company’s ongoing contributions and efforts to sustainable development and the prosperity of the larger community.”
Binu Jacob, managing director of Nestlé Vietnam, said, “By contributing to the COVID-19 vaccine fund, we want to show our trust and commitment to accompanying the government and local communities where we operate in the fight against the pandemic and continue promoting sustainable development for all.”
Strong response from the beginning
The global Nestlé Group has responded quickly to the COVID-19 crisis by protecting its employees, maintaining stable food supply chains, and giving a helping hand to local communities – and its Vietnam chapter has followed through on these global initiatives.
Since the first coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, Nestlé Vietnam has actively supported the government’s fight against the pandemic. The company has donated VND47 billion ($2 million) including nutritional products, cash, and face masks to frontline forces as well as communities and small business partners affected by the pandemic.
In the latest outbreak in Vietnam in May and June, Nestlé Vietnam donated 182,000 portions of nutritious food and beverage products with a total value of VND3.82 billion ($158,700) and collaborated with partners to donate a total VND860 million ($37,400) to the virus-hit provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang.
Since the first appearance of the pandemic, Nestlé Vietnam has set five priorities to overcome the challenges – ensuring the safety and welfare of employees; optimising supply; optimising distribution channels; adapting a flexible consumer-brand approach; and supporting the government and the community.
At the same time, Nestlé Vietnam has also complied with the pandemic prevention regulations of the government and the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Specifically, the company has been keeping employees regularly updated of the rules and situation and has increased the distance between employees in production areas and switched to online meetings wherever possible in its offices. It has also required employees to wear face masks, use hand sanitiser, and check their body temperature before entering company buildings.
To inoculate three quarters of its population and achieve herd immunity by the end of the year, Vietnam needs 150 million doses of vaccines with the estimated cost of $1.1 billion. The donations to the COVID-19 vaccine funds will assist the country in exporting vaccines from overseas and developing its own shots.
Powering the global vaccination drive
|Nestlé Group is a generous supporter of global vaccination efforts |
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Nestlé Group supported the search for a vaccine with a donation to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which manages the COVAX facility together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. The focus is now on the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to help communities worldwide find their way out of this crisis.
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has cost too many lives and livelihoods. The speedy development of vaccines has given us hope, but the job isn’t done until there is access everywhere in the world. That is why we are supporting COVAX to reach those most in need. We urge everyone to help close this funding gap as soon as possible.”
In April, Nestlé Group announced a $2.15 million donation to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support COVAX, the global facility for the procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This builds on the group’s ongoing efforts to support communities around the world during the pandemic.
As previously reported by VIR, Vaccination has started in a number of countries and as a beneficiary of COVAX, Vietnam received the first shipment of over 811,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in April, followed by a second batch of 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines in May. The third COVAX batch is being considered by the WHO and is expected to arrive in Vietnam next month.
The MoH has negotiated with many countries, organisations, and vaccine producers, resulting in 110 million doses of vaccines promised for Vietnam, including 31 million doses from the COVAX facility.
Nestlé is one of the first Swiss companies to enter Vietnam, and is now the biggest investor from Switzerland with total investment of $700 million. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Nestlé has thrived in Vietnam due to a pick-up in coffee exports to meet the stay-at-home demand.