Nestle investing in factories, creating 2.900 jobs in Latin America

Nestle is creating thousands of jobs and investing in new factories in Latin America as it looks to tackle social issues and shore up its position in one of its strongest markets
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
03/06/2017
10:50
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Nestle is working with government officials in the four countries that are members of the Pacific Alliance trade group, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia, to create 2.900 jobs for young people over three years and teach job-hunting skills.

"Our view on corporate responsibility is that to make it sustainable we have to do it in a way that is embedded in our business model. Integrating young people can help us shape our company at a time of digital revolution," the company's Americas head Laurent Freixe said in an interview with Reuters.

"We're not proposing the jobs just to do good for society. Our business is developing and we have real needs."

The initiative follows a similar project carried out by Nestle in Europe in recent years, where some countries are just beginning to recover from a youth unemployment crisis.

The company employs some 60.000 people in roles ranging from factory operatives to veterinarians in Latin America.

Freixe said areas such as pet care and coffee offered potential growth as Latin America's middle class expands.

"We have investments in many places. We are finalizing investments in pet food and infant nutrition in Mexico. We are discussing new sites (through the region)," he said, adding that the company was finalizing a new factory in southern Chile and that one slated for Cuba should be signed off by the end of the year.

He said the United States, where sales have limped recently, did not yet show signs of recovery, with constrained wage growth-crimping consumer spending.

Nestle, like many food companies, is working to reduce sugar, salt, and saturated fat in its products to meet rising consumer demands for healthier food.

While those demands have been louder in developed countries, emerging markets are also increasingly expressing concerns as obesity rates surge.

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