March 23, 2020 / 10:49 AM / 10 days ago

Nestle CEO tells staff to get ready for coronavirus storm - memo

Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider talks during a news conference at the company headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/Files

ZURICH (Reuters) - Food giant Nestle (NESN.S) told employees to prepare for difficult times ahead and make all the necessary efforts to supply customers with the food and beverages they need, Chief Executive Mark Schneider said in a memorandum seen by Reuters.

“This is the moment for extra effort, for going the extra mile,” Schneider said in a message to staff, distributed internally on Friday.

“Please get ready for the storm to hit – because hit it will,” Schneider added.

Known for packaged products like Maggi soups, KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafe instant coffee, Nestle has over 290,000 employees around the world.

It banned international travel for business purposes at the end of February and said it had taken additional safety measures in factories, offices and distribution centers.

In his message, Schneider addressed frontline employees and factory workers in particular, saying their commitment and discipline were critical to maintain business continuity.

He said it was important to secure supplies, manufacturing and logistics and, in areas not yet affected, build inventories of critical supplies and products.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz, editing by John Revill

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