How Coke Northeast is Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Our company’s deepest sympathies go out to those who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and our gratitude goes out to everyone working to help those in need.

The safety and health of our associates is always our highest priority. To protect our employees, we have implemented the following precautionary measures:

  • Increased access to cleaning and disinfecting products. We have received a shipment of 5,000 units of hand sanitizer that are being distributed to all of our facilities, and we continue to procure more supplies as they become available.
  • All facilities, including production and sales centers, warehouses, and other office spaces, have implemented enhanced deep cleaning and sanitizing routines.
  • Suspension of in-person meetings, inter-company facility visits and visits from outside guests.
  • Advised associates to temporarily cancel or postpone all non-essential work travel.
  • Remote work arrangements for associates wherever possible.
  • Enhanced “social distancing” protocols for associates required to work in a facility or in the trade at customer locations.
  • Encouraging associates in the trade to work with their customers so that they may have access to restrooms or other facilities to properly wash hands in between stops.

Our associates have responded with impressive focus to a substantial increase in demand, and their work has allowed us to keep our customers supplied so that consumers can get the essentials they need in an emergency. We can’t necessarily lighten the workload, but we know that it is important to recognize all of the effort our associates are making in this challenging time. As a way to acknowledge the tremendous work that our teams have done and will continue to do, we have implemented a temporary pay increase (retroactive to Monday, March 16) for all associates who do not have the option to work from home.

We are proud to be a part of the communities we are so fortunate to serve and continue to work with our partners in meaningful ways to give back during this time. This week, we were able to facilitate the transport of 5 rolls (totaling approximately 6,000 pounds) of clear PET (plastic) sheeting from our partner EasyPak in Leominster, Massachusetts to a local non-profit group, MakeIt Labs, to manufacture face shields for our healthcare workers. EasyPak receives about one million pounds of our clear PET flake each year to manufacture thermoformed packaging, such as deli containers and snack trays. By leveraging our longtime partnership with EasyPak and the power of Coca-Cola’s distribution network, we’re grateful to help healthcare workers in need, and we’ll continue to look for opportunities to lend a hand where possible.

As a Coca-Cola bottler, we have very stringent processes and procedures in place to ensure safety and quality standards wherever we operate. For customers that use our Coca-Cola equipment, we have provided sanitation and cleaning guidelines. And federal authorities continue to assure the food and beverage industry that grocery items are safe for consumers, as there has been no known coronavirus transmission through food.

From a business continuity perspective, the Executive Leadership Team is working collaboratively with leaders across the Coca-Cola system to identify and mitigate potential disruptions to our operations as a result of the ongoing situation. Any decisions we make will be heavily informed by guidance from federal, state, and local public health officials, and we will adjust our protocols and procedures as necessary.

This is a new experience for all of us. Our actions are designed to help protect our employees, while providing our customers and communities with the essential services that they deserve.

Coke Northeast is beyond grateful to our associates, our consumers, our customers, our communities, and our business partners, as we collectively try to navigate these uncertain times and support one another for the greater good.

We would also like to remind everyone about personal health and safety guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water (wash hands and between fingers with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds);
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands afterwards;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
  • Practice social distancing – staying 6 feet or more away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing; and
  • Most importantly, stay home when sick.

For more information on how The Coca-Cola Company is responding to the coronavirus outbreak please click here.