This letter was originally sent via email from CEO Ramon Laguarta to PepsiCo associates.
As the tragic war continues in Ukraine, I wanted to update everyone on PepsiCo’s activities in the region.
As many of you know, we have been operating in Russia for more than 60 years, and we have a place in many Russian homes. Pepsi-Cola entered the market at the height of the Cold War and helped create common ground between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, given the horrific events occurring in Ukraine we are announcing the suspension of the sale of Pepsi-Cola, and our global beverage brands in Russia, including 7Up and Mirinda. We will also be suspending capital investments and all advertising and promotional activities in Russia.
As a food and beverage company, now more than ever we must stay true to the humanitarian aspect of our business. That means we have a responsibility to continue to offer our other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula and baby food. By continuing to operate, we will also continue to support the livelihoods of our 20,000 Russian associates and the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead.
Our first priority continues to be the safety and security of our fellow Ukrainian associates. We suspended operations in Ukraine to enable our associates to seek safety for themselves and their families, and our dedicated crisis teams in the sector and region continue to closely monitor developments in real time.
We are also continuing to provide aid on the ground to assist Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries. Our business has donated food, milk and refrigerators to relief organizations, and we’re ramping up production of foods and beverages in neighboring countries to meet the increased need. We are also donating a total of $4 million to the Red Cross in Poland, World Vision in Romania, the United Nations World Food Programme, World Central Kitchen and Save the Children. And we continue to match up to $1 million raised from PepsiCo employees through our Gift Matching Campaign. The number of associates expressing concern for our colleagues and a genuine desire to help has been truly inspiring, with some of you even volunteering to take refugees into your homes. Your kindness and generosity speak volumes about our company, and we will continue working to support your efforts.
My heart goes out to all those who are caught in the middle of this deadly conflict. As it so often does, war is falling hardest on the innocent. War is never an answer, and we join all those calling for a speedy, peaceful resolution.