As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the world, we are taking proactive steps grounded in science to protect the safety of our products, care for our more than 260,000 associates, their families and support our communities around the world.
Health and Safety
As a global company, PepsiCo sources ingredients and makes, moves and sells products from around the world. Product safety is our top priority and we want to reassert that direct risk to our product or ingredients is very low. Based on industry guidelines from multiple health authorities, including the EFSA and FDA, there is no evidence that food or food packaging is associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and that no recalls are anticipated if a person who works in a food or beverage production facility is diagnosed. In addition, according to both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), transmission by anything other than person-to-person contact is not typical of this virus, which means the risk of transmission via food and beverage products and ingredients is also very low. We are taking every precaution across our supply chain, and continue to work closely with authorities across our businesses and around the world to ensure the continued safety of our products and manufacturing locations everywhere we do business.
As a company, we are practicing social distancing at all our facilities around the world and have asked all PepsiCo associates who have the option, to work from home, and those who do not are adhering to social distancing guidelines from local and federal governments.
Global health agencies have made clear the most effective thing we can do to fight COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene, and we are taking this advice very seriously. We have increased cleaning frequency at all facilities globally, re-emphasized the importance of proper handwashing, and we are expanding the availability of hand sanitizer in our facilities.
Paid Sick Leave
No one can take the place of our associates and we take their health and safety very seriously, especially those of our frontline associates who are continuing to make, move and sell our products and keep supermarket and grocery shelves stocked during this critical time. With this in mind, in our biggest market, the United States, we will provide our associates 100% of pay for a two-week period for those who need to quarantine, are assessed by a doctor and are symptomatic or have been diagnosed, or who are caring for a sick family member in their household. For those diagnosed or caring for a diagnosed family member, we will also provide a minimum of two-thirds of pay for up to 10 additional weeks.
If we were to close a facility due to COVID-19, and in the event that work could not be continued remotely, our associates in that facility will receive 100% of pay for up to 12 weeks. Finally, we recognize the burden inadequate childcare has on our associates during this time, so we are offering a minimum of two-thirds pay for up to 12 weeks, subject to approval, for associates who may be impacted by lack of available childcare due to school or daycare closures or the lack of availability of a regular caregiver because of coronavirus.
The additional compensation covers more than 90,000 frontline associates at both PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) and PepsiCo Foods North America (PFNA) and consists of a minimum of an incremental $100 per week for full-time employees over the next month. We will also hire 6,000 new, full-time, full-benefit frontline employees across the U.S. in the coming months.
As COVID-19 reduces access to food and other essential goods for communities around the world, PepsiCo is investing $45 million globally to bring food and other vital resources to the most affected communities. As part of this effort, the company is providing funding for protective gear for healthcare workers, testing and screening services, and is in the process of distributing more than 50 million nutritious meals to at-risk populations.
In North America, which has the most recorded cases of COVID-19 in the world, PepsiCo’s efforts are primarily focused on increasing access to nutrition for out-of-school children.
In the U.S., PepsiCo is providing:
- 20 million nutritious meals to communities in need through The PepsiCo Foundation’s Food for Good program, a partnership with No Kid Hungry, to provide emergency grants to schools and community organizations to ensure children nationwide have access to nutrition, and a partnership with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty and USDA to reach rural students
- $3 million to support Team Rubicon’s food delivery operations for partners Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, and others in 100 locations across the U.S.
- $2 million to the Children’s Health Fund to aid mobile health clinics administering COVID-19 screening, testing, personal protective equipment and support services in 21 communities
- $1.5 million to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to support the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and job training for women aimed at long-term economic recovery
- $500,000 to The Robin Hood Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund to provide immediate financial support to nonprofits that serve vulnerable groups in New York City
- $100,000 to the nonprofit Feeding Westchester to deliver healthy meals to Westchester residents
- $100,000 to the New York Community Trust Response & Impact Fund to accelerate FDA-approved rapid testing for COVID-19
- $150,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, created in partnership with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust and the United Way, to support the city’s most in-need residents
In Europe, where entire countries are on lock-down and hospitals are over capacity, PepsiCo is concentrating its response on particularly hard-hit countries. Efforts are focused on bolstering the capacity of local health and relief systems, giving:
- $600,000 to Red Cross outposts in Italy, Spain, and France to cover the needs of the most vulnerable groups in society, particularly seniors and children, many of whom are in confinement and isolation, by providing:
- Personal protection equipment and health equipment for medical responders
- Urgent health transportation for affected citizens
- Logistical support for health facilities
- Essential goods (food, hygiene, household cleaning, and sanitary products) for those unable to leave confinement
- Socialization options for isolated groups in high-risk demographics
To help Latin America prepare for the expected increase in COVID-19 cases, PepsiCo is helping to strengthen local food bank capabilities, providing:
- More than 10 million meals in Mexico for out of school children and their families through nonprofits Un Kilo De Ayuda and Save the Children
- $1.5 million for The Global FoodBanking Network to enable food banks in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay to stock up on key food staples and train staff on how to reduce COVID-19 transmission, in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines
PepsiCo is also investing in Africa, the Middle East, India, and South Asia, which require a unique response due to booming populations and diverse, emerging economies. Efforts there are focused on meal distribution, providing:
In Asia Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, and China, areas that have been living with the devastating effects of COVID-19 longer than any part of the world, PepsiCo is supporting healthcare workers and addressing hunger, providing:
The company will expand these investments in the coming weeks. Additionally, for the month of April, The PepsiCo Foundation is offering a two-to-one matching program for all employee charitable contributions to select nonprofits providing COVID-19 relief globally, contributing up to $2 million in support to nonprofits chosen by employees.
See photos of the Foundation’s work around the world here.
Remote Work and Meeting Guidance
We have canceled all participation in face-to-face meetings both internally and externally for the foreseeable future and instituted a flexible working policy for roles that can be done remotely, encouraging as many associates who can work from home to do so. We are leveraging the most current global technology, like Zoom, to stay connected and facilitate the continuation of our work, and to continue to bring the full strength of PepsiCo to bring our foods and beverages to communities around the world.
To help prevent further spread of the virus, all air and long-distance rail travel continue to be limited to operationally essential and/or time-sensitive only and in adherence with any and all local and federal travel policies.
Crisis and Response Teams
Crisis management teams are in place at the enterprise level and in each of our Sectors to tailor our response locally. Each team is meeting daily to review and ensure we are following global standards to keep our business running and our employees safe, including protocols for dealing with potential exposure to COVID-19, and we’re continuously re-evaluating and refining our ways of working to best serve the communities we operate in during this challenging time.
We have also stood up a scientific steering committee with renowned infectious disease doctors to assess our plans and provide input on how we can continue to operate and do our part to keep our employees safe.
As the scientific and medical guidance continues to evolve, we will continue to adjust our approach and response to ensure the health and safety of our products, associates and their loved ones.