Despite the recent arrival of thunderstorms and hail providing some much-needed relief for firefighters, the worst is far from over – more than 100 fires are still burning across New South Wales and Victoria, and firefighters don’t believe this is the end of the crisis.
According to Ben Shepherd from the NSW Rural Fire Service, the rains have not ‘extinguished them completely, but have temporarily stopped their spread’.
“They are by no means out. But we have seen a reduction, and it has given some crews a chance to take a break before we see the possibility of fire activity over NSW increasing,” he told Guardian Australia.
“We are likely to see fire conditions once again start to increase towards the end of the week.”
What this means is that bushfire relief efforts are just as important as ever. With that in mind, CosmeticsDesign-Asia, FoodNavigator-Asia, and NutraIngredients-Asia have highlighted some of the efforts by both big and small companies from across the food, nutrition and beauty spaces here.
Donating sales proceeds
Snacking giant Mondelez International opted to donate seven days’ worth of its sales proceeds as its major bushfire relief effort, through one of its most popular brands, Cadbury.
“Given the close association of our brands with iconic Australian animals, all the proceeds we receive for the sale of Freddo, Caramello Koala and Furry Friends products [from Jan 10 to 17] will go to the bushfire response efforts of Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo and the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park,” Mondelēz International President of Australia, New Zealand and Japan Amanda Banfield told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“[There will be] a guaranteed minimum contribution of A$500,000 (US$343,000).”
The company also matched employee cash donations, providing product to FoodBank and emergency services personnel, and doubling its employee volunteering leave from two to four days.
Similarly, nutrition company Blackmores has pledged to donate 100% of online sales from its Australian website to bushfire relief efforts, in addition to matching donations.
“Blackmores will donate 100% of online sales on blackmores.com.au to Australian Red Cross. In addition, we will match the first A$25,000 (US$17,200) of donations made by our employees to support bushfire relief,” wrote Blackmores Group CEO and Managing Director Alistair Symington on his LinkedIn.
It is not only big names that have opted to take this route: Vegan beauty product firm Pacifica Beauty has also pledged to donate seven days of proceeds from of sales of its Coconut Line products to WIRES Wildlife Rescue, whereas sunscreen specialist firm Ultra Violette donated all of its earnings from online sales (A$33,547/ US$23,000) to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
One of the most common ways by which companies have been offering bushfire relief has been direct monetary support, and this has been seen especially being done by bigger companies.
For example, Estee Lauder has opted to help by supporting the Australian Red Cross monetarily, donating A$200,000 (US$137,200) in total to its fund.
“On behalf of our brands, including Estée Lauder and Aerin Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies will donate A$200,000 (US$137,200) to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to support the families and communities that have been impacted by these devastating bushfires,” said Estee Lauder Australia via its Facebook page.
“Our hearts go out to all Australians who have been impacted by the terrible bushfire crisis.”
Hong Kong-based supplements and baby nutrition firm H&H Group has done something similar, also pledging monetary support to the Australian Red Cross with plans to conduct a drive to collect more funds as well.
“We are pledging an initial A$100,000 (US$68,600) from the H&H Foundation to the Australian Red Cross, as the most urgent and critical need right now is financial support,” the firm said via a post on its LinkedIn page.
“We have established a fundraising drive as well as other initiatives we will share in the coming days.”
With temperatures topping 40°C in some parts of the country, firefighters and victims faced high risks of heat exhaustion and dehydration without sufficient hydration, a need which Coca-Cola Amatil picked up on and thus opted to donate cases of water and sports drinks instead.
“Bottling and distribution are our strengths, so we think can play an effective role with donations of water and other beverages to displaced families and those on the front line,” said Coca-Cola Amatil Australia Managing Director Peter West.
Coca-Cola Amatil donated at least 250,000 bottles of water and Powerade across 10,400 cases to Foodbank, Australian Defence Force units and air ambulance services to be distributed as required.
West added that the firm had also established a Matched Giving Appeal with the Salvation Army, to match employee donations for bushfire recovery but that ‘there’s more to be done’.
L’Oreal Australia also offered to donate personal care products to those in need of such items on their Instagram page, in addition to A$100,000 (US$68,600) to support the country’s recovery; whereas WELEDA donated much-needed burn-relief and hydrating products to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
These are just a fraction of the bushfire relief efforts that have been ongoing in the country. There are many more, but yet much more still needs to be done, especially with the end of the fires not yet being in sight.
If you or your organisation would also like to help support the organisations fighting to overcome the crisis, wherever you are, please go to the links below to donate or offer support: