Mars CEO Grant F Reid issues plea for peace in Ukraine with donations for humanitarian aid
Scenes in Kyiv, Ukraine, following a Russian strike on the capital, badly damaging residential buildings. Photo Shutterstock. Pic, 'Drop of Light'.
The CEO of Mars, Grant F. Reid has issued a heartfelt plea for peace in Ukraine, donating $2 million in support of the nation, after Russian forces invaded its territory this week, writes Neill Barston.
As the company noted, it is seeking to assist in terms of humanitarian aid, with the business active in the country with facilities in the country’s capital Kyiv, employing more than 170 associates, including within its confectionery operations.
However, the situation within the country has rapidly deteriorated, with the EU combining with the US and UK to place a raft of major economic sanctions on Moscow, along with the UN calling for Russia to withdraw troops from inside Ukraine.
Consequently, a raft of industries including the food manufacturing sector in the country have been seriously impacted, with media reports earlier this week revealing that Nestle, which employs a total of 5,000 in the nation, confirming it had temporarily closed its three factories.
Speaking on the humanitarian aid response from Mars, Grant F. Reid, CEO and office of the company’s president, said: “We are appalled by what is happening in Ukraine and are striving to provide our courageous Ukrainian Associates with the support they need. Their safety is our absolute priority and teams of Mars Associates have been working diligently to provide shelter, financial security and aid.
“In addition to donations of food that have been provided by Mars business units, we’re making an initial cash donation of $2 million in support of this humanitarian crisis. Working with Save the Children, we’re committing $1.5 million to help provide for the basic needs of children and their families in Ukraine and seeking refuge in border countries, as well as $500 thousand to Humane Society International to give assistance to pets and pet owners. We join the world in supporting the innocent victims of this war and calling for a peaceful resolution immediately.”
Meanwhile, Mondelez, which owns major confectionery brands including Cadbury and Oreo, confirmed earlier this week that it would also close its own production facilities should conditions worsen further. The business employs well over 4,000 people across Eastern Europe.
“We have big business in both countries. If that means we have to close plants because it is too dangerous, we will do so,” said CEO Dirk Van de Put, in a media interview this week.
Tracey Noe, the company’s Vice President, Global External Communications, confirmed that the situation within Ukraine had meant that the business was indeed among those that had temporarily halted its activities.
She said: “The safety of our colleagues is our number one priority, and we are focused on ensuring our colleagues in and around Ukraine are safe and cared for during this difficult time. We’ve paused our operations in the country and are supporting our people and providing humanitarian aid in the region.
“We are ensuring financial support by advancing salary and bonus payments for colleagues in Ukraine. We are also supporting rescue and shelter efforts at the border and beyond, in addition to our global 24/7 Employee Assistance Program for colleagues everywhere.”
She added that in addition to enhanced financial support for our colleagues in Ukraine, we are supporting humanitarian aid in the region, starting with a $500,000 donation through both financial and in-kind contributions. We have also launched a global double-match donation program for colleagues who wish to contribute personally to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – the world’s largest humanitarian network.
Noe concluded: “Our business continuity efforts continue, and we will comply with applicable sanctions that are imposed and are currently evaluating the impact on our business. We stand firmly with those calling for peace and an end to the violence.”