The food manufacturer, which will donate $15m in financial aid and ‘in-kind’ support to community partners amid the Covid-19 crisis, is repurposing its 3D printing technology to help print the medical visors. Normally, the technology is used to make chocolate sculptures at Cadbury’s Bournville factory.
This is not the only time the Bournville factory has helped the nation. The establishment of Bournville Utilities Ltd in the 1940s helped produce gas marks, jerrycans, service respirators and airplane parts for Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers during World War II.
Last week, 3P Innovation launched an industry wide initiative to unite businesses and individuals who can help produce, assemble and distribute the visors to hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and clinics across the UK.
Mondelēz is assisting with the production of the hard-plastic bands which connect the top and bottom of the visor and invested money into the project, so 3P can purchase injection mould technology. This will enable the visors to be mass produced.
3P has already delivered the first visors to a Warwickshire NHS clinic and will be scaling up operations. The aim is to make and deliver up to 10,000 units each week.
Louise Stigant, UK Managing Director, Mondelēz International said: “The NHS and other frontline services are doing an incredible job and we want to support them wherever we can. I’m extremely proud that our research and food engineering teams have come up with a creative way to repurpose our chocolate making skills and technology, so we can make and print parts for the medical visors.
“By working in partnership with 3P and other businesses, we can scale our operations and help protect those who are working so hard to protect us and beat coronavirus.”
Tom Bailey, Managing Director, 3P innovation commented: “We have now set up the production line and the finished products are on their way to end users. Thanks to the generous support from Mondelez, we have purchased an injection moulding tool which is set to make a huge difference to the volumes we can produce.
“We are now looking for ongoing funding, which is essential to ensuring we can continue purchasing components and running the production lines.”
3P is now appealing for other manufacturers and businesses with 3D printing technology and logistics services for support. This will enable the company to continue making and suppling the medical visors to more NHS workers and other frontline services, including care homes and prison staff.
Meanwhile, Mondelēz is contributing over £2m in the UK to help local communities, charities, foodbanks and people working in the NHS and other frontline services.
The company is donating to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, which provides vital information, advice and other services for those aged over 70.
According to Mondelēz, the Age UK donation builds on Cadbury’s Donate Your Words campaign, which raised over £400,000 last year for Age UK. This particular campaign highlighted the issue of loneliness among Britain’s older generation.
Currently, the company is also working with industry, national and local charities to organise and distribute over two million products to communities across the country. Fareshare, Community Shop, and frontline NHS and Trussell Trust foodbanks are among the beneficiaries.
Additionally, Mondelēz is donating funds to the National Emergencies Trust and GroceryAid to support colleagues in the grocery industry and across the food and drink supply chain.
Stigant said: “We have a rich history of supporting people, communities and businesses through the Cadbury Foundation and our network of national and local charity partners. Coronavirus is impacting all our lives and that support is needed more so than ever. Our colleagues are going the extra mile to selflessly help others at what is an incredibly challenging time.”
Commenting on the Age UK donation, Laurie Boult, Fundraising Director, Age UK thanked Mondelez for its support: “This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones.
“Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis. Thank you for ensuring we can respond to the growing needs and unprecedented demand we’re seeing.”