Donated RPCs, incentives for employees in most relevant roles, and support of logistics staff help to maintain food safety during the pandemic for those in need around the globe
Munich, Germany, December 14, 2020: IFCO, the world’s leading provider of Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for fresh food, continued to deliver on its social responsibility and engagement commitment throughout 2020. Despite the Coronavirus-pandemic IFCO’s support of food bank programs around the globe has not diminished. In fact, due to growing unemployment and crisis measures in many countries, the work of food bank programs is more important than ever and many initiatives increased their activities. In order to guarantee the safety and health of everyone, IFCO employees were not allowed to get physically involved in the food bank donations in many countries. Therefore, IFCO is especially proud that even under these difficult circumstances it has been able to donate more than 63,000 RPCs to food banks this year.
“As a vital part of the global food supply chain, IFCO has a strong commitment to fighting hunger and food insecurity around the world. IFCO RPCs help to provide billions of individuals with safe, fresh, nutritious and affordable food year-round,” said Michael Pooley, CEO of IFCO. “It is very important for the company and its employees to give back to those less fortunate and to the communities we serve. Especially under the demanding circumstances this year, that have had a negative impact on food safety in many countries globally.”
Because social responsibility includes taking care of all its employees, IFCO has taken several precautionary measures in all its locations worldwide. Such measures include unlimited access to masks and hand sanitizers onsite where working from home is not an option, for example in washing centers. This ensures the safety and health of all IFCO staff. To honor the important work of its employees, IFCO also implemented a financial incentive program based on presence at work. To support truck drivers while highway areas were closed, IFCO provided truck drivers with free coffee, fruit, water bottles and free access to bathrooms and showers. In response to the heavy impact of COVID-19 on Southern European regions, IFCO provided monetary contributions to food banks, like Banque Alimentaire de la Loire near Lyon, France.
Using company resources and expertise to help those in need is embedded in IFCO’s culture. That is why IFCO partners with food relief organizations around the world. In 2020 IFCO continued its social engagement program with donations supporting socially responsible companies in more than half a dozen countries globally. Social engagement activity for 2020 included:
- Donated RPCs: The donation of an additional 63,579 RPCs for use by foodbanks around the world, bringing overall donations for food relief to more than 360,000 since the start of the program in 2009. Donated RPCs are having a positive impact in countries like the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Donated RPCs increase efficiency, making it easier for retailers to donate food. They also reduce solid waste by eliminating the need to transfer donations into boxes for shipping and handling.
- Supporting Socially Responsible Companies: IFCO has been supporting socially responsible companies like Well Pack Group which is committed to helping children in several ways. Activities include supporting disabled children in a football club, handing out gift vouchers to a school for children with special needs, and supporting orphan homes.
In the greater Portland-Vancouver metro area, IFCO donated RPCs to the Meals on Wheels People so they were able to deliver nearly 8,000 meals daily to homebound seniors. “Since the COVID-19 Pandemic started, our daily meal production has increased from 5,000 meals daily to nearly 8,000 meals daily. And deliveries have been reduced from five days per week to just one day per week. That means volunteers have a whole lot of meals to deliver,” said Meals on Wheels People Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Washington. “The containers from IFCO will allow us to safely pack meals for transportation by our volunteers. The new containers are great for transporting cold and frozen items, and they nest well, hold more product, and can be washed daily. We are extremely grateful to IFCO for donating the RPCs.”
IFCO looks forward to continuing its cooperation with food bank programs around the globe in 2021 and hopes that all activities that had been canceled this year due to the Coronavirus-pandemic can be resumed next year. In fact, volunteering opportunities for IFCO staff to support their local food banks are already being rescheduled for 2021 where IFCO plans to participate as usual if the pandemic situation allows it.