Nestlé’s success has been built up over 150 years, based on an approach rooted in sustainability at all levels, including social, environmental and economic.
In 2017, Nestlé announced a share buyback programme, increased structural cost savings and set its first-ever profit margin target, all in response to the inflated financial expectations of the activist shareholder community.
The change in direction announced by Nestlé is an apparent rejection of sustainability and puts the future at risk.
The power of Nestlé in recent years has been to invest in new products and development, in research and innovation and to promote the development of a skilled workforce in cooperation with trade unions.
Even during the financial crisis, Nestlé’s strategy was to invest and to promote the virtuous circle, resulting in more job stability, good industrial relations, better working conditions and a safer workplace.
The effects of Nestlé’s new approach are already being felt: job losses, pressure on wages, terms and conditions, more workplace stress due to increased workloads, job insecurity and consequences to worker health and safety and to food quality and food safety.
Nestlé will dispose of categories and businesses that do not perform to expectation. Is this a smart approach?
The virtuous circle has turned into a vicious circle. The vicious circle means 20% profit returns now, followed by 25% and later 30%. How far can the quest for profitability go until there is nothing left for investments, including in workers?
We expect innovation and investment in our workforce – not the short-termism that is being proposed by Nestlé management.
The IUF and its affiliates pledge full support to all affiliates in their actions to defend Nestlé’s continued sustainability.
Solidarity is the key to success.