The Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the global multinational corporation, Coca-Cola Company, Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., has assured Liberians that the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) will continue to invest in Liberia and remain operational during this difficult times owing to the outbreak of the Ebola pandemic in the country.
Mr. Cummings, who flew into Monrovia last Friday on a private jet, gave the assurance at a press conference held at the LCCBC production plant in Paynesville shortly after his arrival.
“We felt it is important to visit Liberia during this difficult period to show support and solidarity”, said Mr. Cummings, who headed a high powered seven-man Coca-Cola delegation.
The Liberian-born Coca-Cola top executive said “as a Liberian and relatively successful, if we expect others to help us, we must take the lead. That is why we are here, to say CoCa-Cola shares the concern of Liberia and other countries hit by the Ebola Virus Disease”.
Cummings who has work for Coca-Cola Company in many capacities since 1997, said though Coca-Cola business in Liberia is down by 60%, due to the Ebola crisis, the company is still keeping its workforce intact and is not scaling down or laying-off any of its staff members.
Mr. Cummings announced further Coca-Cola’s plan to open a second production line worth about US$5 million dollars for the production of different kinds of assorted fruit juices and bottled water in Liberia.
Moreover, Mr. Cummings said that as part of its social corporate responsibilities, the LCCBC is constructing a modern science and technology school at the cost of US$1.2 million in the Duport Road community.
“We want to assure the Liberian government and people that Coca-Cola will remain operational in Liberia and will do everything possible to help the country during this difficult period,” told the press conference.
Other members of the Coca-Cola delegation to Liberia included: Alfonso Bosch, Chief Executive Officer, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC), Sierra Leone; Curt Ferguson, President, Coca-Cola Middle East and North Africa; Alfonso L. Daurella, Chairman ECCBC, Sergio Codonyer, Public Affairs and Communication Director (ECCBC) and Geert Bross, General Manager North Africa Region.
The Coca-Cola Executive Vice President also asserted that LCCBC is playing very important role in the fight against Ebola scourge. “We will continue to help in the fight against Ebola until it is finally kicked out of Liberia and West Africa”, he said.
Filling the Daily Observer in on LCCBC’s donation to the fight against the Ebola malady in Liberia, Victor Bostor George, Public Affairs and Communication Manager at the LCCBC said, 300 Ebola kits and 160 empty gallons were given to household in the immediate environment of the company.
Additionally, George said, 1,900 cases of water bottles were given to Ebola Treatment Units, US$2,000 was given to the Ebola Trust Fund, 30 thermometers to the Ebola Task Force along with US$48,000 worth of anti-ebola materials.
George disclosed that two 40-foot containers containing more than US$200,000 worth of anti-ebola materials are expected in the country to be donated towards the fight against Ebola.
Established in 1949, the company was known as the United States Trading Company (USTC) but changed name in 2005 to the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC). About 190 Liberians are in the employ of the LCCBC.