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Consumer Goods Giants Unite to Support Vulnerable Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, L'Oréal, Tesco, Unilever and 40 more of the world’s largest food and personal care brands, retailers and manufacturers will provide local aid to communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

45 members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) have joined forces to launch a coordinated, global response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. The initiative, which involves some of the world’s largest food and personal care brands, retailers and manufacturers — including Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, L'Oréal, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Tesco, Unilever and Walmart — is a response to a CEO-led call to action for members to step up and act locally to help alleviate the health and economic burdens now being experienced by people globally.

The economic impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic, with hundreds of millions of people around the world having either lost their jobs or at risk of doing so, or are otherwise struggling. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, the pandemic is expected to push an additional 88-115 million people into extreme poverty this year — with the total projected to rise to as many as 150 million by 2021.

While CGF has long been involved in collaborative actions to drive adoption of healthier diets, lifestyles and personal care habits through its Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition, and many of the companies involved have already stepped up in various ways to help fill gaps in products and services since the start of the pandemic, this new call is a direct response to the challenges being faced by people due to COVID-19 nearly a year on.

The group has identified a series of actions to accelerate support for vulnerable communities during the pandemic — including improving access to healthier foods and personal care products, donating food and personal care products to food banks and community programs, and working with partners who provide essential support locally. Members will also share learnings and best practices via the CGF’s Global Learning Mechanism, so they can learn from each other and then deploy these actions rapidly.

On behalf of CEO members of the CGF Board of Directors, Frans Muller, President & CEO of Ahold Delhaize; and Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said:

“As key representatives of the global consumer goods industry, we are united in our efforts to help people struggling with hunger during this unprecedented crisis, especially the elderly and children. We must act together and intensify how our products and services reach these most vulnerable populations, and mitigate the negative health and economic burdens that families around the world are experiencing during COVID-19. Through our Collaboration for Healthier Lives Coalition, we have already engaged in local action, but we know there is more work to be done. We need to go further and faster together.”

“This is a critical time for us,” said CGF Managing Director Wai-Chan Chan. “Our members recognize their responsibility to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and we welcome this call from our Board of Directors; and are delighted to see so many members stepping forward and committing to work within their communities, and with local partners, to provide much needed support.”

CGF says it will collect feedback on all the actions taken by its members and develop aggregated reporting on the progress of the initiative towards the end of the first quarter 2021.