This update is correct as at Sunday 22 March 18.40AEST.
At Coca-Cola Amatil, protecting the health and safety of our people and those we work with will always be our overriding priority.
We continue to monitor the status and impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis. The recent pandemic declaration by the World Health Organisation does not change the comprehensive approach already in place to ensure we continue to keep our people healthy and safe, keep producing world-class beverages and keep serving the needs of our customers. We continue to adjust and respond across all of our geographies - adapting to our work rhythms and operations in an effort to focus on business continuity during this challenging time.
Working closely with our suppliers and our brand and service partners, we have established detailed Country-level Business Continuity Plans to ensure that, in each of our countries of operation, our local teams manage the pandemic in a pragmatic and considered way to help minimise the impact of the virus on our own people and operations, as well as the people and businesses that we partner with and serve.
We have plans for each of our facilities to ensure continued operations where we can, while also taking all necessary steps to keep our teams healthy. We remain alert and are responding to all in-country government directives which vary daily as these can and do impact our operations and workforce.
In close partnership with our Group Leadership Team, each Country team has developed plans to ensure all facilities have appropriate measures in place to protect the safety of our employees, as well as the partners and suppliers who work closely with us to produce our products and service our customers.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, we have actively promoted good hygiene and implemented additional cleaning and sanitisation routines in all our facilities. We have also provided clear guidance and information to support anyone who is concerned about potential exposure to the virus, or who is experiencing potential symptoms.
We have cancelled large gatherings and implemented physical distancing measures designed to protect our people, whether they work in our field-based sales teams, front-line manufacturing or distribution operations, or in an office-based environment. We have suspended all international travel and non-essential domestic travel and implemented measures to ensure we can equip our teams to work virtually where possible. Amatil’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for 26 May will also be conducted virtually, to discourage physical attendance for the protection of all our people and our investor community.
We continue to keep in close contact with all team members who are undergoing testing, or have a confirmed case of coronavirus and we are encouraging any member of our team who is even slightly unwell to remain at home, as prevention is always the best measure.
Across our many geographies, our people are being directly impacted along with the rest of the world. Daily rhythms and movements such as commuting, socialising, religious practices, physical distancing and personal health and safety are the subject of WHO recommendations and government directives and are changing daily. Everyone is on high alert and we are all in this together.
We have tested our ability to separate teams on rotating rhythms and we have tested our technology to make sure it can support us as we respond to in-country measures, making sure we are providing our teams with resources and tools as we adjust to these new challenges.
We are staying connected with our teams and we are all working together to look for ways where we can adjust work in a responsive and targeted way. We are committed to an approach that looks at short term commitments from our workforce to help us get through this as One Amatil for the longer term. This will include flexible working adjustments, alternative assignments and roles, redeployment, reduced hours, personal and annual leave measures.
We have confirmed our leadership priorities across Amatil:
To ensure we continue to service our customers and keep our people safe, as part of our contingency planning we have already commenced a number of precautionary measures. These include additional procedures and restrictions for all site visitors, additional hygiene and sanitisation routines in all facilities, altered work processes and shift routines to minimise risk and meet demand, contingency build measures for key SKUs and enacting plans with third-party transport providers to protect service capability.
We will continue to support our customers and we will continue to make adjustments in an effort to continue to operate our business.
We continue to monitor daily government directives which determine if and how we can keep our sites operational, and we are communicating with our workforce, customers and partners accordingly.
All cleaning and hygiene routines have been escalated at every Amatil location. In our bottling facilities, there is little people contact with our finished products. According to the CDC, there has been no known coronavirus transmission through food, and there is “likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.”
Given the significant uncertainty in relation to the duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we withdrew the earnings guidance issued on February 20.
We will continue to align with advice from the World Health Organisation and the relevant Government Authorities in our countries of operation.
We thank our many customers, brand and business partners across the region for working with us in partnership to continue to meet the needs of our customers and protect the communities in which we operate.
This update is correct as at Sunday 22 March 18.40AEST.