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How we’re collaborating to help families in São Paulo’s favelas


In Brazil, we have joined forces with brewer Heineken to create a special line of Cif sanitising cleaner to help disadvantaged residents of the country’s most populous city deal with Covid-19.

Favela in São Paulo. We’re working with Heineken to create special Cif sanitising cleaner for families in São Paulo.

Unilever Brazil is working with Heineken, the country’s second-largest brewing company, to manufacture a special batch of Cif household cleaner. This is being donated to people who live in some of São Paulo’s most socially vulnerable shanty towns, or favelas.

We are producing a run of 270,000 bottles of the alcohol-based sanitiser to distribute to families in 210 favelas. It is hoped the product will benefit around 2 million residents in total, helping them protect their homes against the spread of Covid-19.

The virus is capable of surviving for several days on some surfaces, particularly those that can be easily contaminated such as door handles, tabletops and kitchen counters.

Cif Higienizador + Álcool (Sanitiser + Alcohol) is designed to clean and disinfect all types of surfaces, and the on-pack instructions encourage people to take the necessary preventive measures in the home.

The special edition product – which we took from initial idea to production in just 20 days – is being made with alcohol from the Heineken brewery and the bactericide used in Cif.

A network of partners pulling together

After Heineken agreed to donate the alcohol from its alcohol-free beer production process, the first job was for our R&D team to work on a formulation for the product. Alcohol from the brewing process has slightly different properties to the type we usually use as an ingredient.

Next, we identified and co-ordinated third parties who could supply the bottles, caps and labels, and a manufacturer we could work with on the production itself.

In addition to Heineken, there are eight partner organisations involved. The bottles are produced by PQS and BrasALPLA. Universal Chemical runs the production. Westrock supplies the cartons for transport, Alemolde the bottle lids and CCL the labels. CRX Design and Trident developed the artwork. The favela support group CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) is distributing the product.

All these organisations are donating their time, expertise or materials free of charge.

Feature image - Eduardo Campanella
It is amazing to see the involvement of all these partners. It’s a real opportunity to do something for people in need during these uncertain times. Yasmine Antacli

We can achieve more by working together

Yasmine Antacli, our Director of Marketing in Brazil, says: “It is amazing to see the involvement of all these partners. It’s a real opportunity for small companies – who want to help but didn’t know how – to do something for people in need during these uncertain times.

“The idea was born from a conversation with Heineken. The marketing team then took the lead to connect all the Unilever functions and, in a few days, we had all the suppliers engaged.”

“More than ever, joint effort is necessary to help us get through such a difficult situation,” adds Eduardo Campanella, our VP of Marketing in Brazil. “Through this initiative, we have secured the participation of suppliers and partners genuinely intent on helping tackle the spread of this disease and protect public health. The project clearly shows how, by working together, we can achieve more.”

In parallel with distributing Cif Higienizador + Álcool to those families identified as most vulnerable, we are also assessing the feasibility of a second production run with our partners.

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