At Coca-Cola Amatil, protecting the health and safety of our people and those we work with will always be our overriding priority.
The 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 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 are implementing detailed Business Continuity Plans to ensure that, in each of our countries of operation, our local teams are managing the impacts of 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 in place 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 as these can and do impact our operations and workforce.
In close partnership with our Group Leadership Team, each Country team has well-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 developed cleaning protocols in the event of COVID-19 contamination and provided Personal Protective Equipment to frontline field sales and operations teams.
Our bottling facilities continue to be regularly audited and are fully compliant with the most stringent of global standards and we have separated shifts and introduced virtual shift handovers in our bottling plants.
We have also provided clear guidance and information to support anyone who is concerned about potential exposure to the virus, or who is experiencing symptoms.
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 have been directly impacted along with the rest of the world.
We have suspended all international travel and non-essential domestic travel. 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.
Like many businesses, we have rolled-out 'work-from-home' arrangements. The routines of our field teams have also been adjusted to enable customer contact via phone and where possible, our field teams are undertaking stock replenishment at major grocery outlets during non-trading hours.
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 have confirmed our leadership priorities across Amatil:
The security of our supply chain is a high priority and we continue to review and monitor these. To date none of our critical suppliers are at risk, and we are constantly updating our forecasts and manufacturing planning to reflect changes in demand across our channels.
To ensure we continue to service our customers and keep our people safe, as part of our contingency planning we have implemented 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 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.
On 17 April we delivered a market update. It is important to us that we provided our investors with an update on our trading performance so far in 2020 and our COVID-19 response aimed at protecting our people, our business and our customers at this time. Amatil will continue to do as appropriate over coming months.
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 markets and protect the communities in which we operate.
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.