Sustainability Report 2020

Our Response to Covid-19

Early Days

LDC faced the challenges posed by Covid-19 from the beginning of the pandemic, with our offices and facilities in China the first to be impacted at the start of 2020. Leveraging our global presence and through collaboration across all regions, we supported our operations in China when world trade flows to the country slowed dramatically.

In response to the expanding global crisis, and before recording its first Covid-19 case in March 2020, LDC implemented two complementary pandemic response flows: top-down, with a Global Emergency Response Team tasked with defining global guidance and mandatory procedures; and bottom-up, with Regional Task Forces empowered to take decisions and implement appropriate protective measures based on local circumstances and national regulations.

An Industry Emergency Response Team was also created, with responsibility for building proper contingency plans for industrial assets and ensuring that all necessary resources were made available in order to keep our people safe and facilities running.

Working together, these response teams ensured that regular and transparent communication between all stakeholders was in place, procedures and policies respected, legal support available where required, and local developments closely monitored and reported.

Adapting to a New Reality

As the pandemic evolved and spread across the world, LDC radically adapted its operations.

After the initial outbreak, our teams in China led the way in providing guidance on Personal Protective Equipment, tests and safety measures.

Lessons learned – in Asia and afterwards Europe – helped to adapt practices and reinforce procedures designed to protect employees around the world.

Home office mode, travel restrictions, social distancing and gate screenings quickly became part of daily working life for our people across the globe, who showed great flexibility in adapting to a wide range of new protective measures, three of which we would highlight in particular:

  • Training: Clear communication of, and training on, implementation of measures to prevent the spread of the virus was crucial.
  • Isolation of high-risk people: Employees aged 60 or above, or with any underlying condition that could be a potential risk, were isolated from the workplace for their protection.
  • Test, test, test: When an infection was identified, thousands of tests were performed to prevent the virus from spreading inside LDC premises.

Key Actions

  • 40% of our people working from home (100% of office workers);
  • IT equipment provided to home-based employees;
  • 100% online meetings;
  • High-risk people kept away from workplaces and/or working from home;
  • Emergent purchasing of forehead thermometers, masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and others;
  • Masks delivered to LDC employees and their families, as well as contractors;
  • 6,000+ rapid Covid-19 test performed;
  • 10,000+ antigen/PCR tests performed;
  • Gate screening at all assets;
  • Digital facial monitoring (for temperature and mask usage);

Although we recorded 1,450 Covid-19 cases at LDC during the year, fortunately, and thanks in part to these measures, no fatalities due to the virus were recorded in 2020.

Our proactive response to the pandemic, and the support of local authorities around the world, helped keep our people safe, our key assets operating with only minor interruptions, and essential food and feed supply chains moving.

Furthermore, while adopting Covid-19 safety measures, we continued to support farmers and the communities around our operations through a wide range of projects and initiatives, many of these working with peer organizations, local experts and partners such as the Louis Dreyfus Foundation.

Looking to 2021 and beyond, we recognize that the Covid-19 crisis is still very much ongoing, and we continue to monitor the situation carefully. While the virus remains a threat, we remain focused on doing everything we can to keep our people safe as they fulfill LDC’s vital role to help to feed and clothe the world’s population.

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