Mars pledges additional funding for Ukrainian humanitarian aid

Mars Wrigley has pledged to increase its aid to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict, with a total of $10 million now confirmed for the business towards humanitarian causes, writes Neill Barston.

The company said that ‘our hearts our broken by the terrible war,’ and is one of a number of confectionery and snacks businesses that have paused operations in the region since Russia’s invasion last month.

However, industry observers have expressed concern that some businesses are continuing their presence within Russia, including Mondelez, which is reportedly scaling back its operations, and cutting advertising within the country, focusing on maintaining its core supply chains.

For its part, Mars stressed that its thoughts are with its teams working within the region – with some hope emerging this week according to national sources that a potential peace plan is being discussed between Ukraine and Russia.

A statement from the US-headquartered firm read: “Our primary focus and absolute priority is the safety of our Associates in the region. We continue to work hard to provide our courageous Ukrainian colleagues with the support they need. Teams of Mars Associates are working tirelessly to help Associates who are still in Ukraine, as well as those who make it across the borders. We will increase our cash and in-kind donation to humanitarian causes by $10 million in addition to the $2 million committed to affected people and pets last week.

“Mars has operated in Russia for over 30 years, and we employ almost 6,000 Associates who have been a vital part of our company for decades. We will continue to support them, but business as usual is not an option. This is a humanitarian crisis, and this guides all our actions. We have decided to scale back our business and will refocus our efforts in Russia on our essential role in feeding the Russian people and pets.

“Any profits from our Russian business will be used for humanitarian causes. We have suspended new investments in Russia and will not import or export our products in or out of Russia. Our social media and advertising activity in Russia and Belarus will remain suspended.”

The company added that this is a fast-moving and uncertain situation, and that it would be prepared to take further action if required. Finally, it called for a peaceful resolution to the situation, adding that “our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and all those impacted by these terrible events.”

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