The following letter was delivered to all Associates on March 17, 2020.
These last few weeks have immersed us in a situation unlike any we’ve seen before. This pandemic is forcing all of us into a new normal. But, we can handle it together and we’ll get through it with calm, communication and care.
Experts are urging us to do our part to slow the rate of infection and relieve stress on health care infrastructure and personnel. Which is why some weeks ago we put restrictions on business travel. We’re also encouraging those that can work from home to do so, and we’re taking precautions in our offices and factories to protect the health and wellbeing of Associates that are coming to work to provide vital veterinary care or manufacture the products that people and pets rely on.
Mars Associates all over the world are working in support of our collective wellbeing and the continuity of our business. We’re monitoring developments in real time and taking the necessary steps to do our part. I’m personally chairing the global crisis team, which includes each of the Mars Leadership Team members as well as other leaders and experts.
In all our decision-making, we’re following our Five Principles and the facts shared by the leading health experts and appropriate government authorities. We’re also following our well-established crisis management and business continuity processes.
My ask of everyone is that you do your part to reduce the spread of the virus by observing the practices and policies that have been put in place for everyone’s safety.
It’s impossible to assess the impact that this will have on each of us, the global economy and our business right now. But, we have confidence that we can manage what comes. Mars Associates are known for rallying together in times of challenge – it is when we show up strongest as a community and extended Mars family.
In our more than 100 years in business, we’ve weathered many storms, and we’ll navigate this one as well. We’ll continue to communicate frequently and with transparency as things evolve. And you should never hesitate to approach your local management teams with any questions or concerns.
The most important thing right now is for each of us to take care of ourselves, our loved ones and each other.
Grant F. Reid
More from Mars
How is Mars supporting and protecting its Associates, their families and communities?
The needs of our 125,000 Mars Associates are at the center of how we are running our business during the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes adopting policies to protect their health, providing extra flexibility to manage quarantine situations, and dealing with the anxiety and impact created by the pandemic. Some weeks ago we began restricting travel, participation in large meetings and we put protocols in place to mitigate any exposure or spread of the virus based on recommendations of leading health authorities and local governments. All of our Associates who can work from home are now doing so. We are monitoring the situation in real-time and are prepared to take further action as needed.
How is Mars protecting consumers?
Our consumers can be confident in the safety and quality of our products and services during this time. The current coronavirus outbreak does not pose a food safety risk to humans or pets. In our veterinary practices, our Associates are always diligent about good hygiene and proper hand-washing.
How is Mars caring for pets?
During a time when many people are under self-quarantine, pets are providing comfort and health and emotional benefits. Mars Associates remain committed to caring for the pets we serve during this difficult time, through the pet food and the veterinary services we provide. At our veterinary clinics around the world we are, as always, being diligent about good hygiene and proper hand-washing when handling pets.
CEO Grant F. Reid joins business leaders with a comment in the Financial Times on the actions Mars is taking in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.