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Tsunami Disaster Update: IUF Contacts Global Food and Beverage Companies About Relief to Victims

Posted to the IUF website 05-Jan-2005

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The IUF is recognized as a counterpart by the corporate headquarters of a significant number of global food and beverage companies and as a result has ongoing contacts with them. As part of our response to the tsunami disaster following requests for information from affiliates we have contacted many of those companies. As major corporations they clearly have access to significant resources. We have asked for information about their reponse to the disaster. To date we have received a detailed response from one company.


We have received the following response from Danone corporate headquarters.

�There were, by chance, no victims amongst the employees of the Danone Group and its subsidiaries, but it has severely affected the family, friends or region of many of them.

Facing the seriousness of an event where the death toll continues to rise, the Group is immediately put in a position to come and help the disaster-stricken population.

In the hours following the catastrophe, the Indonesian Corporate Business Unit put in place an emergency committee and distributed some ten thousand bottles of water, packets of biscuits and dairy drinks, convoyed to the north of Sumatra by helicopter. In India, the Britannia teams have taken action to transport many tonnes of biscuits, as well as other foodstuffs, clothing and tents to Andaman and the islands of Nicobar. The mobilisation has also rapidly had an effect on other subsidiaries. As an example, Danone Eaux France have used a plane chartered by the authorities of Sri Lanka from Paris to offer 50,000 bottles of mineral water.

Considering the seriousness of the situation in Indonesia, the country the most severely hit and where Danone has a particularly strong presence, the Executive Committee wished to concentrate financial aid decided at the level of the Group first and foremost towards the inhabitants of Sumatra. The objective is to distribute 10 million packs (bottled water, biscuits and dairy drinks) free of charge over the next few weeks to the disaster sticken areas. This centrally decided aid will happen exclusively via local products (Aqua, Biskuat and Milkaut).

Beyond this central aid, numerous CBUs and many collaborators have expressed their interest to contibute to the efforts of international solidarity in favour of the different countries affected. To help this step, the Group is launching the initiative Danone Solidarity for Asia and proposes a partnership at local level to each of its subsidiaries with the Red Cross or the Red Crescent. The objective of these partnerships which will become operational in the coming hours, is to respond to the first need of humanitarian organisations: collect funds which will be immediately converted into material aid appropriate to each situation rather than receive donations from far away countries in the form of products which can cause further transportation problems.

In the name of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the DANONE Group, Franck Riboud would like to thank the body of collaborators who have participated and will participate in the humanitarian efforts in favour of the victims, in whatever form it may be, and expresses all the solidarity of the Groupe and of his employees with the collaborators and the population of affected countries.�

Through our web site the IUF secretariat will make available the reponses of other companies as we receive them.