Nestle commits to Zim

HARARE - The world’s largest food company, Nestle, said it is committed to remain in Zimbabwe despite the country’s deteriorating economic conditions.

“We have been in Zimbabwe for 57 years and indeed we are just celebrating 100 years in Africa. We are a long term company and we have invested in the country since 1961,” Nestle Vice President John Miller said.

“We believe the company can invest in times which are difficult and we appreciate that at the moment in Zimbabwe there are challenges, but we believe these are good times to invest because good times will come.

“Our consumers think of our brands as part of their family  and families stick together in good times and in bad times,” he said.

This comes as the Switzerland-based nutrition and wellness firm on Friday commissioned a new industrial water treatment plant within its factory premises in Harare.

The plant is part of a $30 million capital investments set up five years ago to refurbish Nestlé’s manufacturing lines and develop the new industrial waste water treatment plant.

Speaking during the commission ceremony, Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri said it was gratifying to come across a company like Nestlé who includes environmental management as part of its business philosophy.

“If all companies in Southerton Industrial area would embark in reducing solid waste discharge in municipal drainages, Harare water would greatly improve and reduce the cost of water treatment at the Harare Municipal’s Morton Jeffery Waterworks currently being refurbished for over 144 million dollars,” she said.

Meanwhile, Miller said water is very critical to food security and thus an essential commodity in Nestlé’s business and value chain.

“It is alarming that global water withdrawals are predicted to exceed supply by 40 percent by 2030.

“Respecting the right to safe, clean water and sanitation, Nestle strives to use water efficiently and facilitate responsible water stewardship,” he said.

Over the years, Nestle has strengthened its environmental requirements for water quality and effluent discharge, applied by all factories to ensure they go beyond legal compliance across our operations.

The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability has also been extended to the dairy farmers where support is given in the construction of bio gas digesters to save energy and reduce the gaseous omissions of the dairy cows which is also contributing to global warming.

Nestle believes in building a business capable of both delivering superior  shareholder value  and helping communities it operates in to improve their nutrition, health and wellness.

“At Nestle we call this business philosophy creating share value and it is the approach taken by all the Nestle business entities around the world,” Miller added.

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