April 23, 2020
President and CEO Jim Zallie Provides a Customer Update on COVID-19
March 26, 2020
A Message to the Ingredion Community,
Aligned with our “Care First” value, the health, well-being and safety of our employees and the communities in which we operate is our top priority as we navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with a purpose driven response. Ingredion extends its deepest sympathies to anyone impacted by COVID-19. In an effort to protect the safety of our employees, we are taking measures that meet or exceed the guidance of local and governmental public authorities. We are carefully monitoring the situation and have proactively taken steps to maintain the operating integrity across our global network.
We have implemented business continuity plans and taken preventative measures to support our global operations, while continuing to meet the needs of our customers. Ingredion’s food and industrial manufacturing facilities are “essential” to maintaining our food supply. The Department of Homeland Security in the United States has included the food and agricultural sector as a “Critical Infrastructure Industry.” In addition, the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance also recognize the importance and need to continue operating at these facilities during this ongoing pandemic.
Caring for our Employees
Our employees are demonstrating dedication and commitment to delivering quality ingredient solutions to our customers during these challenging times. I am immensely proud of how the Ingredion family has rallied to ensure we continue to manufacture our products and operate our plants safely to ensure our nation’s food supply. I would like to especially recognize the efforts of our frontline employees who have been nothing short of amazing during this period.
Early on, we established a Crisis Management Committee and formalized a Pandemic Project Management Office to oversee and coordinate our activities, by learning from what was happening in Asia, then Europe, and applying those learnings to the Americas. Our recently initiated procedures include:
- Screening employees and visitors and denying entry as needed for COVID-19 risk indicators
- Deploying additional cleaning and disinfection measures
- Reducing the number of in-person meetings
- Canceling large group gatherings
- Initiating an expanded work-from-home policy for non-location critical employees
- Restricting nonessential travel
We continue to take the appropriate steps and follow the guidelines of public health authorities as we keep our employees' health and safety as well as our customers' needs top of mind.
I am also pleased to announce that Ingredion is introducing several COVID-19 support programs for hourly and salaried location-critical employees in the United States and Canada. These employees are doing important work by keeping our production sites operating during these challenging times. These enhanced benefits include:
- Resources for financial assistance and child care needs
- Appreciation pay in the amount of $100 per week as a bonus
- Pay continuation due to temporary shutdown: If required to temporarily close a plant or warehouse due to COVID-19-related causes, Ingredion is offering pay continuation for all employees for up to 12 weeks and will continue to make employer premium contributions for each employee’s active benefits
Serving our Communities
We’re committed to doing everything we can to help The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) with their efforts to combat hunger and provide food to people who need it around the world. In response to COVID-19, we have increased our donation to GFN and contributed $50,000 (USD) as the number of families that need support from local food banks during this pandemic has dramatically increased. Based on Ingredion’s donation, GFN’s Network of food banks will be able to provide an additional 240,000 meals to people in need during this global crisis, which helps us fulfill our purpose of bringing the potential of people, nature and technology together to make life better. If you can help, please consider donating to a food bank in your area of the world. Regrettably, this crisis is just beginning and GFN needs your partnership and support as they are on the front lines helping families. You can support these hunger fighters by making a donation directly to a food bank in your community.
Ensuring Product Quality, Safety and Availability
As a leading global ingredient solutions provider, we take great pride in providing our customers with a safe and steady supply of ingredients they need for their food and beverages. Ingredion’s Pandemic Project Management Office continues to monitor this rapidly evolving situation, manage the impacts across our global supply chain and address the business continuity concerns for our customers. Our goal is to continue delivering our customers’ products on time throughout these unforeseen events. Considering the global nature of our supply chain and the unprecedented challenges that we are experiencing, we have initiated the appropriate contingency plans by contacting our key suppliers and contractors to verify that we have suitable plans in place and engaging with alternative suppliers as a precaution.
Helping our Customers
Our customers will continue to hear from Ingredion as we provide regular updates as warranted as the situation changes. Our focused teams continue to manage these challenges with determination guided by our company values and purpose-driven culture. I am immensely proud for how we have all come together and are finding creative ways to work and collaborate. While operating socially distant, we remain spiritually connected and this is enabling us to accomplish a lot as a team in such a short period of time. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19, and we anticipate providing further commentary on our first quarter 2020 Earnings Call.
James P. Zallie
President and CEO