Supporting our supplier communities through Covid-19
Roughly a 3 minute read
The latest on our Emergency Response Relief Fund
The first of our five commitments to stand with our suppliers through the Covid Pandemic is to set up an Emergency Response Relief Fund. We’ve committed £500,000 to get vital support to our supplier communities where it’s most needed.
Covid-19 is presenting urgent challenges for people in the tea and coffee communities we source from. The lockdowns and restrictions to travel are making it harder and more expensive for families to get hold of everyday necessities such as food and hygiene products.
There’s also an impact on livelihoods. In many supplying countries, governments have made it mandatory for people to wear face masks in public. Without them people can’t make a living. And with communities based in rural areas, healthcare provision for those that contract the virus is much harder to come by.
Our suppliers have been going the extra mile to support farmers, workers and families in their communities, but they’ve told us that more is needed. Our Relief Fund has been set up as a rapid response to help build resilience in communities we’ve worked with over many years — communities we feel are as important to us as those that we’re a part of locally. So far, we’ve allocated £413,779 of funding:
Our impact around the world
We’ve spent time working with each of our close suppliers to understand their immediate challenges and where support is most of use.
In Rwanda lockdown is impacting food security for many families and children are missing out on vital meals that would normally be provided at school. The producers we work with have been contributing food and supplies to vulnerable families in their community so we’ve supported their efforts with funding for food and sanitation.
Soap, sanitiser and PPE have also been essential to keep farmers and workers safe in Colombia. Farmers here have had to navigate and adapt to the strict lockdown measures that led to a lack of people working in the fields and lost crops early in the harvest.
And in Peru farmers have faced huge challenges. Due to the lockdown measures in place they haven’t been able to deliver their coffee cherries to be weighed and sold and they haven’t been able to access food markets. So, our suppliers have been visiting every farmer to collect coffee directly from them and then delivering food to them while they’re there. To help sustain their huge efforts, we’ve contributed to their food delivery and basic hygiene product packages for farmers. We’ve also made sure that those working to make this happen have the right PPE.
With the funds we have left we’re continuing to create priority lists and build joint plans with further suppliers to keep the support going to the right places.
Last updated 4th September 2020