Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (“F&NHB” or the “Group”) has been focusing its efforts to minimise the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on its operations and the wellbeing of its people.
As a major dairy and beverage manufacturer in Malaysia, F&NHB Group is among companies approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and relevant local authorities to continue operating at reduced workforce and operating hours during the Movement Control Order (MCO). F&NHB Chief Executive Officer, Lim Yew Hoe affirmed the Group’s commitment to support its customers, trade partners and the community as a whole with adequate supply of core F&N products amidst the uncertainties.
“Together with our raw and packaging material suppliers, we strive to ensure maximum output within the reduced production hours and workforce as stipulated by the authorities during the MCO period. Along with healthy inventory, F&NHB endeavours to ensure continued availability of our core products to consumers during these unprecedented times.”
“Our toughest challenge during this period is to continue our operations amidst the fear and anxiety, while safeguarding our employees’ well-being. We are truly grateful to our internal heroes in logistics and production who continue to raise the bar with their dedication and tenacity during these trying times to make our products available to our loyal customers and consumers,” Lim said.
Lim added, “In appreciation, all frontline employees including contract workers who have been approved to work in our production plants and warehouses during this MCO will receive a special weekly allowance.”
In addition to guaranteed full pay and medical support for all F&NHB employees, the Group is also doing more for its employees during this challenging period. “We recognise the financial challenges that some of our employees and their families may be going through in this period of crisis. As such, we have put in place various forms of financial assistance to care for our employees’ welfare over the course of the next few months,” he added.
“For all our employees, we have decided on early payment of contractual bonus in April and May to assist those whose families may require cash during this period. This also serves as an addition/alternative to the Government’s recent policy to allow partial withdrawal from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). In addition, all monthly deductions from motorcycle loans with the Group have been deferred for four months,” Lim said.
F&NHB has also created an employee assistance hotline that assists employees with work-related queries and/or issues that may impact their health and emotional wellbeing.
“Our employees are at the heart of our organisation. In times like these, it is paramount that we keep their morale high so that our people will have peace of mind and be ready to help the Group forge ahead once the outbreak situation has improved,” Lim added.
Lim said it is too early to assess the financial impact, as the crisis is still unfolding, including in Thailand where the Group derives significant revenue and profit from. “In a moment like this, our primary focus is on the wellbeing of our people while ensuring adequate supply to the market. We will also work closely with our trade partners and suppliers to ensure minimal disruption during this period when cash flow is likely to be tight,” he added.
The Group also wishes to convey its appreciation to MITI and the relevant authorities for being responsive to the needs of food and beverage manufacturers including raw and packaging material suppliers as well as related service providers so that they can continue operating and transporting goods during this period.
Meanwhile, F&NHB Chairman, Tengku Syed Badarudin Jamalullail thanked and commended the country’s frontline heroes who have been working around the clock to safeguard the health and safety of the people.
“We recognise that they are facing great challenges and making tremendous personal sacrifices, and so for our part, we hope we can help them be properly hydrated and energised while they battle against the COVID-19 pandemic for all of us,” said Tengku Syed Badarudin.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia, F&NHB has been contributing products such as 100PLUS Isotonic Drinks, F&N Ice Mountain Mineral Water and Sunkist Orange Juices to the frontliners in both Peninsular and East Malaysia. Some 3,800 cartons of products worth more than RM100,000 have been delivered to an increasing list of recipients with kind referrals.
The recipients include Sungai Buloh Hospital, Selayang Hospital, Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the Royal Malaysia Police, the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and a number of city councils, among others.
“It is our way of showing our appreciation to these heroes. Words cannot express our heartfelt gratitude to the country’s frontliners who are working tirelessly to fight the virus and to keep Malaysians safe. We wish to say a big TERIMA KASIH to all of the them and we will continue to contribute for as long as they need during these unprecedented times,” said Tengku Syed Badarudin.