Responsible actions for business and community

April 06, 2020 | 08:00
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Groups in fast-moving consumer goods in Vietnam are doing their bit to help communities at this time. Laurent Levan, president and general director of URC Vietnam, told VIR’s Thanh Van of the company’s related activities and attempts to meet demand.
responsible actions for business and community
Laurent Levan, president and general director of URC Vietnam

As Vietnam implements a social distancing plan in the COVID-19 fight, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) for in-home consumption is expected to sustain growth. What is the impact for URC in the midst of the rapidly-escalating crisis?

The pandemic is having a big impact on consumer behaviours, which shall possibly continue in the next few months and possibly even beyond. We will put all our efforts to helping mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The outbreak is disrupting our businesses, including the food and beverage (F&B) category, and companies like us. While business continuity is important, our people’s safety is our first concern. We have put in place a stricter hygiene policy and work arrangements, which may be extended if the situation requires.

Our key actions include empowering our various task forces, reviewing, and adapting productions plans, pushing logistics flexibility to serve our consumers across the country, and to maintain steady prices. The out-of-home could create negative impacts if the isolation and social distancing measures are going to last in Vietnam. Therefore, we need to adapt and adjust our processes, and we have launched various initiatives to support our distribution partners.

The current global health emergency has led to an increased health consciousness among Vietnamese consumers. Could you share URC’s plan to provide healthy and nutritious F&B products to meet this demand?

Being a leading F&B player, URC is encouraged to maintain its operations to serve consumers. Having said that, URC and our staff are strictly complying with the directions of the government as well as internal hygiene and safety policies to ensure the best state of health and safety for employees, partners, and the community.

Our mission is to delight consumers with brands of exceptional quality and value, and our mission is also to answer the needs of our consumers during the crisis: healthy products, on-the-go products, and meaningful products.

In our portfolio, our energy drink Rong Do can support the front-liners bringing them alertness during those extended hours on duty: they need to stay strong and keep confidence to help our communities.

Our ready-to-drink tea C2 is made of natural tea leaves, brewed fresh with all the natural antioxidants for Vietnamese people, boosting immunity and wellness.

The new C2 Black Tea offers bold taste and flavour, together with the same natural antioxidants found in our natural tea leaves.

Although the pandemic may contribute to growth in FMCG spending, the crisis will continue to disrupt businesses. What is the outlook for URC’s activities in Vietnam in the coming time?

In term of business operations, while we cannot predict the future, it is timely for us to have appropriate assessment and preparation for plausible scenarios. We have initiated a cross-functional COVID-19 team to step out of their day-to-day roles and dedicate most of their time to virus response.

This team will be responsible to ensure first the stabilisation of the company by defining scenarios tailored to the context, and also ensure resilience in the supply chain. URC Vietnam is also investing in our company’s core customer segments, as we can be agile and anticipate purchasing behaviour as consumers now begin to live a new normal.

As a responsible company, URC Vietnam is participating with the country’s efforts by donating VND700 million to the VNExpress Hope Foundation and VND1 billion to the “Fight COVID-19 with Tuoi Tre” programme in partnership with the Young Business Association. These contributions will help to provide medical, sanitation, and hygiene products for frontliners. These important social actions are in the continuity of doing good for the community following partnership with other players in the industry to set up the Packaging Recycling Organisation Vietnam, in which URC Vietnam is a founding member.

By Thanh Van

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