Ford South Africa has been on the forefront of automakers doing their part in fighting the global pandemic. Covid-19 has left a sea of devastation, and even South Africans are feeling the wrong side of the whip.
But Ford SA has been doing its utmost to combat the effects of the virus. Whether it be by producing face masks or assisting in the production of respiratory devices, the automaker recognises the need.
While this is ongoing, Ford also recognises that there are essential personnel that are going unnoticed. We deem medical and security staff as essential, but behind the scenes a far greater work is going virtually unnoticed. That of farm workers, delivery truck drivers, and the cashiers in your local supermarket.
When the lockdown was announced, a spree of panic-buying swept across South Africa. And though many stores ran dry with stock, these people ensured that there is food the next time you had to leave your house.
'A heartfelt thank you'
Neale Hill, managing director at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, said: "Before lockdown, most of us probably hadn’t given too much thought to the men and women involved in the production, processing, packaging, inventory, transportation, storage, distribution, delivery, and retail of the food that we buy.
“We certainly wouldn’t have listed these people up there with the likes of doctors and nurses and the police and army in terms of what one considers 'emergency and essential workers' in the context of a global health crisis.
"Once the initial wave of panic buying and stockpiling subsided, however, it gave us an opportunity to reflect on our modern lives and consumption habits. We have become acutely aware of our dependence on a fully-functioning food supply chain, and our own vulnerabilities to the impact of potential disruptions to that supply chain."
"No longer do we take for granted the convenience of well-stocked supermarket shelves, and we have a new-found appreciation for all those workers in the agricultural sector and the service industry who make those well-stocked shelves possible.
"On behalf of Ford, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to all those people in society who so often go unnoticed, and have inadvertently been pushed to the frontlines during this challenging time. Your efforts to protect food security throughout the duration of the epidemiological curve of Covid-19 are to be highly commended, and for your contributions we are eternally grateful."