Nestlé stresses long-term commitment to Pakistan

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LAHORE: Reiterating its commitment to Pakistan and the consumers, Nestlé has said the company is here for the long term and will do business in ways that specifically address global and local issues in the areas of nutrition, water and rural development.

“We are in Pakistan for the long term and are part of its economy. We rely on the government to continue to provide a favourable policy and economic environment for the dairy industry. We remain committed to providing our consumers with high-value and quality products,” said Nestlé Pakistan Managing Director Magdi Batato in a statement.

He thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for showing confidence in the company and creating conducive business environment.

The prime minister, while speaking at the Pak-Turkey Business and Investment Forum in Istanbul last week, highlighted Pakistan’s top global ranking in the milk industry and used Nestlé’s growth and investment as an example of the existing potential.

Nestlé has established one of the largest milk receiving facilities in Pakistan along with many milk production plants, with the latest investment being the $140 million milk drying plant in Sheikhupura which was inaugurated in 2013.

Citing Turkey’s example, Magdi said there was a lot that can be learnt from how the milk industry in Turkey had been supported through right regulations to make it competitive, for instance the minimum pasteurisation law.

Seventy per cent of milk produced in Turkey was processed and packaged compared to the packaged industry in Pakistan which was just 4% of the milk market, he said.

He stressed that Pakistan also had a great potential for dairy exports, but that was hampered by inefficiencies at the farm level, leaving the country uncompetitive in the international market.

“If such challenges are addressed, the industry will not only blossom but Pakistan can become a major exporter of dairy products in the region. By installing the state-of-the-art milk drying plant, Nestlé is looking forward to being able to further contribute to those exports,” he said.

“Nestlé Pakistan will continue to play a leading role in the food and nutrition business,” he remarked.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2013.

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