In December 2020, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) announced its members would work together on actions to support vulnerable communities, part of a coordinated, global response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

According to the United Nations, hundreds of millions of people have either lost their jobs or are at risk of losing their jobs due to the COVID-19, or are otherwise struggling to provide for their basic needs. These increasingly vulnerable people are faced with daily difficult decisions on how to use their limited resources. According to the World Bank, depending on the severity of the economic contraction, as many as 150,000,000 people will be pushed into extreme poverty in 2021.

In an urgent response to this grave global situation, CEOs launched a call to action for members to play their part with local actions in an effort to mitigate the health and economic burdens felt by vulnerable communities around the world. Some of the world’s biggest retailers and manufacturers were among the CGF members that responded to the call.

The CGF’s Collaboration for Healthier Lives (CHL) Coalition has, for many years, driven collaborative actions through local initiatives to facilitate the adoption of healthier diets, lifestyles and personal care habits. With the critical challenges that have emerged as result of the pandemic that people and their families across the globe are now facing, this new call serves as a direct response to their urgent needs.

To ramp up crucial support to people in vulnerable communities, a series of actions were identified, including ensuring that the most vulnerable have access to healthier foods and personal care products by donating to food banks and community programmes. In addition, the call encouraged members to work with partners who provide essential support locally. Where possible, members were asked to join CHL’s regional initiatives to help drive change at scale.

Furthermore, the group agreed on developing capabilities to ensure greater efficiency across supply chains, logistics and data sharing, as well as sharing best practices and learnings on the CGF’s Global Learning Mechanism. This is key in order for members to learn from each other, and to swiftly and effectively deploy their agreed actions.

The need to intensify actions to support vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19 is critical. By joining forces and responding to this need, it is without a doubt that CGF members have a significant impact in mitigating the health and economic challenges that people in communities across the world are facing in the wake of the pandemic.

This case studies booklet highlights some of the many actions taken by some of the participating CGF member companies that responded to the pandemic. The CGF thanks all the companies and organisations that shared their actions, experiences, and data, which have been valuable in compiling this booklet.