INDIA – Swiss multinational food company, Nestlé, has committed that by 2025 it will have invested ₹5,000 crores in its Indian arm to expand the nine factories in the country.

Nestlé ‘s chief executive officer Mark Schneider said the fresh investments point to the company’s plans to accelerate and ramp up business in the country.

The investment will help the Indian subsidiary expand its capacity as well as build the company’s brands in the market which will significantly create direct and indirect job opportunities.

Schneider noted: “When you look at the investment in this country and the investment plan through 2025, we’re talking about ₹5,000 crores and that compares to ₹8,000 crores over the last 60 years when we started manufacturing in this country.”

I think in 1961 we started our first manufacturing site and so in that whole period, it’s been ₹8,000 crores. And now the next three years it’s ₹5,000 crores.

So that gives you a sense of things accelerating, ramping up. That’s the high-level one, but it’s not CAPEX and investment alone. I think it also goes into a whole lot of development items and brand building and you know meaningful contributions on the ground.”

Suresh Narayanan chairman & managing director, of Nestle India, commented that it is going to be secular across categories but not in particular categories, an ambition the company has in making, probably looking at new locations for factories as well.

Nestlé eyes November to re-opening Buitoni plant

Meanwhile, the multinational conglomerate is lining up the return of production at a Buitoni factory in France in November, subject to the approval of local officials.

The facility was at the center of a fatal E. coli outbreak earlier this year, that led to the recall of Fraîch’Up pizzas marketed by Nestlé.

Health officials ordered production at the Caudry factory to cease five days later to allow investigation of alleged food contamination.

In the latest published statement by Santé Publique France, which covered the period up to 4 May, there were 56 confirmed cases of HUS, of which 54 were linked to a STEC O26 strain and two to a STEC O103 strain. The 56 cases included 55 children and one adult. Two children died.

A lawyer in France is reportedly claiming EUR250m (US$245.9m) in reparations from Nestlé on behalf of 55 of the victims.

In a statement, the company said: “Analyses carried out on samples of flour and some samples of finished products have detected the presence of E. coli STEC bacteria. Analyses carried out on all the production lines and their environment did not detect the presence of the bacteria.

“Because of these results, the most likely hypothesis is that the flour, from the last wheat harvest, was contaminated with E. coli STEC bacteria, which we have not detected. Nestlé is committed to taking the necessary measures to ensure that such a situation does not recur.”

Nestlé indicated that, even when output gets going again, the factory would focus on Buitoni-branded pizza.

Fraich’Up pizzas and the production line that was affected by the recall will remain suspended until further notice, Nestlé noted.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.