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 £365,754 of funding: