As the world faces the unprecedented threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, UPL continues its operations with its plants running to meet the challenges of providing stable and reliable service to farmers around the world. "We recognize that our products are essential, and even more in crucial times like these."
While policy, economics and societal priorities are changing dynamically, the need to feed the world every day remains unchanged. Farmers continue to produce food and demand for crop protection products is robust. To cater to this demand, UPL, through its OpenAg vision, is collaborating with employees, partners, customers, and governments in a responsible, fact-based and agile way.
"We remain committed to ensure the stability of the global food supply chain to feed people now and into the future," said Jai Shroff, Global Chief Executive Officer. "The crop protection business is an integral part of this critical system, which we take seriously as both a privilege and a responsibility. Providing stability to the world's food supply is our top priority, and we have reason to believe that in the long run, our food supply chain will come out even stronger than before."
As of today, all factories around the world remain in operation, following enhanced internal safety guidelines. To continue to ensure reliable supply, UPL follows a multi-sourcing strategy for active ingredients and raw materials, allowing the Company to hedge supply risks and stay nimble. The Company also maintains strategic safety stocks to ensure availability of raw materials and formulated products. The Company is working closely with local and national governments to ensure compliance with all situation-specific regulations, and at this time does not anticipate any significant challenges meeting customer demand.
UPL's diversified global presence with full portfolio offerings in many crops has helped the Company respond to upsides and downsides directly related to the impact of Covid-19. Given that the situation is extremely fluid, the Company's contingency and continuity planning is ongoing, the Company would undertake the required stepsto continue to deliver on its commitment to maintaining food supply at this critical time, whilst continuing to deliver on its financial commitments to Investors and other stake holders.
"Our role and responsibility to serve the world's food chain has never been more apparent," said Diego Lopez Casanello, Global Chief Operating Officer. "In most countries, our crop protection and seeds businesses have been classified as an 'essential commodity', at par with medical equipment, special protective clothing, medicines, and the food chain. As a global manufacturer and distributor of critical crop care inputs - for which demand remains strong - we are urgently mobilizing to service the world's needs. We continue to closely monitor changes in consumer behaviour and demand for food items which might have a short to long term impact on cropping and agriculture in general."
UPL is also taking various initiatives and actions to fight the disease. Some of the Company's manufacturing power has been redirected to produce sanitizer and disinfectants. The Company's spray equipments are also being used across major cities to sanitize common areas. UPL is also working with personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers to supply PPE to local hospitals and municipalities, that may be experiencing a shortage.
"We also want to thank the people on the front lines of the world food supply," said Jai. "Farmers growing the food, people stocking shelves of local grocery stores, truck drivers keeping supply networks open and functioning, food service workers, and food safety inspectors ensuring the food we eat is safe, healthy and nutritious."