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Nestlé resumes Zim operations — report

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Nestlé resumes Zim operations — report

5th January 2010

By: Sapa

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Nestlé Zimbabwe resumed production on Monday, the Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday.

This followed the temporary closure of its operations owing to "a misunderstanding over the supply of milk from Gushungo Dairy Estates", the newspaper said.

The Switzerland-headquartered food company Nestlé "had bowed to pressure from activists that are against Zimbabwe's land reform programme" to stop buying milk from Gushungo Dairy Estates, owned by the Mugabe family in October last year, the Herald said.

"It proceeded to shut down operations in December at its Southerton plant in a move that was condemned by Zimbabweans across the political divide."

The newspaper said that it had visited the Nestlé Zimbabwe factory in Southerton on Monday and established that all systems were in place and that the company was operating normally.

"The factory was fully operational and employees were seen doing their duties."

The newspaper said that employees confirmed the company had resumed operations on Monday, "adding that everything was back to normal".

Job seekers were also seen at the company's main gate.

No official comment could be immediately obtained from the company, the Herald said.

"Nestlé Zimbabwe was asked by the government to reopen after it was given assurances over the safety of its staff and operations.

"A deal was reached over how milk from Gushungo Dairies would be processed," the Herald said.

This followed consultations between Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, Nestlé Zimbabwe representatives and other key stakeholders in the dairy sector last month, it reported.

Ncube told the Herald that he was asked by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intervene after Nestlé's Zurich head office had announced it was temporarily closing its Zimbabwe factory after two managers were questioned by the police.

 

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