Nestlé milk factory can fight terrorism

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk processing plant Pakistan

Nestlé's new milk factory in Pakistan, set to be the world's
largest milk collection centre, can help prevent more people from
turning to Islamic extremism, the country's president has said.

"You are assisting the poor of Pakistan and this helps us fight the root cause of extremism and terrorism," General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan president, told Nestlé chief executive Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.

His comments came at the official opening of Nestlé's state-of-the-art milk processing plant in the Punjab region.

The opening of the plant is the latest in a series of events that has seen top dairy firms looking to enhance their social responsibility credentials.

Nestlé's new factory has a processing capacity of two million litres per day, and this should rise to three million over the next few years, making it the biggest plant of its kind in the world.

Brabeck-Letmathe said the firm had created 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in Pakistan since it started up there 18 years ago.

The group also collects milk from 140,000 dairy farmers.

"Pakistan is a great country, the fourth largest milk producer in the world."

Nestlé was also praised for its role in a public private partnership with the United Nations, which aims to train up 5,000 women farmers in Pakistan.

The company remains one of the most boycotted in the world, mainly due to allegations regarding infant formula marketing tactics in developing countries.

But events in Pakistan over the last week add more evidence of a new public push from food multinationals on social responsibility, as ethical and sustainable practices have hit the news agenda.

Nestlé announced recently it had opened a factory in Brazil to supply affordable milk powder and coffee to people on low incomes there.

That followed an announcement by French group Danone before Christmas that it would use more research and development resources to tackle malnutrition around the world.

It has already set up a partnership with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to supply fortified yoghurt to poor people there.

Of course, the moves also enable companies like Danone and Nestlé to build sales in emerging markets and tap up new consumers.

Pakistan and Bangladesh alone contain more than 300m people, compared to around 500m people across the whole of the European Union.

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