We are showing our colors by suspending business with Russia and Belarus throughout the Group until further notice when hostilities began. In doing so, we are drawing the consequences from the overall situation, which is characterized by great uncertainty and the current disruptions triggered by the Russian state led by Putin.
Our humanitarian attention is focused first of all on the 28 colleagues of our Group company in Kiev, with whom we are in daily exchange. After the sales office belonging to us was cleared and the employees were provided with additional liquidity through the payment of two salaries at the end of February, the focus is now primarily on the families. Together with our committed colleagues from our Group companies, particularly in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania as well as the Czech Republic, the Baltic states and Germany, we are actively working to bring the families of our Kiev office to safety.
However, we also want to get involved in helping the people in Ukraine as a whole. For example, we have set up an internal aid fund that can be drawn on by our Eastern European Group companies for regional support campaigns. We are using this to support humanitarian aid campaigns in Ukraine and for refugees. In addition, together with our employees we have launched local relief and donation campaigns at numerous Group sites to generate funds for local aid in Ukraine.
In addition, our owner family is providing particularly strong support: The Oetker siblings, together with the management committee of the Group companies, have decided to make a donation of EUR 1,500,000 - divided between the two Ukraine emergency aid programs of Unicef and Welthungerhilfe. Further aid measures - also of a non-financial nature - will follow. Concerning this Dr. Alfred Oetker, Co-CEO and Co-Owner: “It is vital for the whole world to stand together – not only in condemning the attack, but in helping those affected.” Ferdinand Oetker, Co-CEO and Co-Owner adds: “The management team of our holding company wanted to send a clear signal in this regard, also to show our gratitude to all the employees for their commitment to supporting people in need.”
We also show the flag for Ukraine and its citizens in our internal and external communications, because as a global company we are committed to exchange, understanding and integration. For example, we have raised the Ukrainian flag at our headquarters in Wiesbaden-Biebrich and illuminate the roof in blue and yellow at night. We and many of our Group companies have also added the Ukrainian colors to our corporate web and social media sites to symbolize our commitment to peace and humanity to the outside world.
Henkell Freixenet Management on behalf of all employees