Eric Breissinger, president, P&G Canada

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures; food manufacturers have implemented such measures to ensure that Canadians continue to have access to safe food. They’ve modified their manufacturing process and their supply chains to address unprecedented demand. “In Their Own Words”  brings the behind-the-scenes stories to Grocery Business’ readers.

Eric Breissinger, president, P&G Canada

Crisis leadership initiatives

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, P&G has set three very clear priorities: 

1. Protect the health and well-being of P&G people;

2. Serve consumers in Canada and around the world who count on our brands and the benefits they provide;

3. Step up as a Force for Good to support communities, relief agencies and people who are on the front lines of this global pandemic.

Every day, we’re reminded of the essential role that P&G products play in the lives of our consumers. In order to provide these trusted brands to enable consumers to take care of their personal health and hygiene, our first priority was to keep our employees safe, especially for our essential employees at our manufacturing facilities. With guidance from medical professionals and local public health authorities, we implemented robust measures to help our people who are making, packing and shipping P&G products stay safe at work. This included increased cleaning and sanitation of all production areas, temperature scans, shift rotations, queueing avoidance, physical distancing where possible, and providing masks to all employees.  

Globally, we started producing critically needed face masks, face shields and hand sanitizer, using them to ensure our people can continue operating safely and also donating to local hospitals, health care facilities, and relief organizations. In Canada, we are starting to produce hand sanitizer at our P&G Brockville site and we are installing new equipment to produce face masks at our P&G Belleville site.

Lastly, P&G has a long history of supporting communities in times of need. This is no exception. The Company and our brands have stepped up as a Force for Good.  Since the onset of the outbreak, P&G has been working with its longstanding charitable partners, government officials, and other organizations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. P&G’s cash, product and in-kind donations add up to tens of millions of dollars across more than 30 brands, more than 200 different organizations, and in more than 30 countries, including Canada. To date, in Canada, we have contributed over $4 million in hygiene products, hand sanitizers, face masks and financial support to healthcare workers and Canadians impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Impact on the supply chain

P&G provides trusted brands that help people clean, take care of their personal health and hygiene, and create healthy homes for their families.  Our brands are more important than ever as consumers stay at home more, increase their hygiene habits, and stock up their pantries.

Our product supply organization both locally and globally are working hard to maximize the availability of our products by safely running extra shifts,optimizing our existing equipment to operate at full capacity, and constantly finding new ways to deliver more of the products consumers depend on.  In addition to serving consumers during a time of unprecedented demand, we’ve leveraged P&G R&D, engineering, and manufacturing capability to quickly produce much needed PPE, separate from the efforts that support our retail product.  Our sales teams have also continued to work closely with our retail partners to ensure we’re doing everything we can to serve our consumers during this crisis. 

Your business takeaways from this experience

For over 180 years and for over 100 years in Canada, our Purpose, Values, and Principles (PVPs) have been the foundation for P&G’s unique culture. It is especially important that during times of crisis and uncertainty, we rely on our PVPs to unify us in a common cause, to set the tone of how we work with each other and with our partners, and to guide our decision making to do the right thing. With this strong foundation, we have been navigating through this unprecedented time together by supporting one another, serving our consumers and customers, and by stepping up as Force for Good for the community. And, while there are many challenges ahead of us, we can have great faith that, together, we’ll come out of this stronger than we went in.

As all of us have been impacted by COVID-19, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to our employees for the work that they are doing every day to serve our consumers and our community, to local government officials who supported our hand sanitizer and mask production at our Canadian sites, and to our retail partners for their collaboration in delivering essential products to consumers across Canada. Lastly, on behalf of all P&G employees, I want to thank all the workers at hospitals and other essential services who are on the front lines of this pandemic. Thank you for keeping us all safe and healthy.

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