Woolworths Group and Nestle rank in top 15 for Reuters most diverse and inclusive organisations globally

Woolworths Group and Nestle, have taken out 14th and 15th, respectively, in Thomson Reuters D&I index ranks 2018 Top 100 list.

Management consulting firm Accenture has the top spot on the Thomson Reuters most diverse and inclusive organisations list, with the two food companies following close by.

The index ratings are informed by Thomson Reuters environmental, social, and governance data, designed to transparently and objectively measure the relative performance of more than 7,000 companies and provide clients with differentiated insight.

Each company is assigned a score across diversity, inclusion, people development and news controversy pillars.

READ: Nestlé will use Australian Recycling Label on all Australian-made products

Only companies with scores across all four pillars are assigned an overall score.

The top 100 ranked companies with the best overall scores are selected for the index. 

Thomson Reuters global head of environmental, social and governance, Elena Philipova, said the diversity and inclusion index, now in its third year, highlights the companies who are leading the way in imbedding these values into their company strategy.

“The industry is beginning to recognise the societal and business benefits of investing in diverse and inclusive companies and we are working closely with various investment firms who are looking to develop investable products based on our D&I index,” she said.

Outsell vice president and lead analyst, Will Jan, said recent studies revealed that diversity and inclusion correlated to value-creation and profitability. 

Woolworths Group chief people officer, Caryn Katsikogianis, said the company is are proud to be ranked high in the global diversity and inclusion index.

“It is welcome recognition of our efforts and progress in creating an inclusive culture across all of our businesses.

“As a group, we embrace the value diversity brings to our organisation and seek to provide an inclusive work environment that gives all our team members a sense of purpose and belonging.

“We want our customers to experience a welcoming and genuine team when they shop with us, and our diverse team is key to delivering this,” said Katsikogianis.

The Woolworths Group has been focused on a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives to create better experiences for its customers, team and communities.

These include refugee programs, LGBTI inclusion, gender pay parity and indigenous employment.

“This recognition is a testament to our 200,000 team members across Australia and New Zealand who make the Woolworths Group such a great place to work.

“As a customer-led business, we know it’s critical that our teams reflect the communities we serve. While we’ve made progress we know there is more we can do and we’ll continue working hard to build an even more diverse and inclusive workplace,” said Katsikogianis.

Nestlé will use Australian Recycling Label on all Australian-made products

Nestlé Australia is committing to introduce the Australian Recycling Label across all of its locally made products, by 2020, to help consumers recycle their packaging correctly.

Nestlé has started to implement the new label, introduced on to Allen’s lollies in mid-August, beginning with Strawberries and Cream, and Snakes Alive.

Allen’s will also feature the REDcycle logo alongside the Australasian Recycling Label to educate consumers that its soft plastic packaging can be recycled via the in-store collection scheme.

Additional Nestlé products will start to include the new Australasian Recycling Label throughout 2018. 

READ: Nestlé seeks new options for Lean Cuisine in Australia

Nestlé Australia CEO Sandra Martinez said Nestlé was proud to be adopting the Australasian Recycling Label to help consumers correctly recycle by providing information as to which bin packaging should go in, or whether it could be recycled via approved collection programs such as REDcycle.

“Consumers have good intentions when it comes to recycling but they need clearer information,” she said.

“The Australasian Recycling Label will help to remove confusion, increase recycling rates and decrease contamination in recycling streams by helping consumers navigate the process,” said Martinez.

The Australasian Recycling Label shows what needs to be done with each piece of a package to dispose of it in the best way.

It indicates if packaging is recyclable via kerbside recycling, conditionally recyclable if additional instructions are followed, such as being recycled via programs like REDcycle, or not recyclable.

Planet Ark deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling said the commitment from companies such as Nestlé was an important one.

“We need widespread commitment from industry to apply the Australasian Recycling Label if it’s to become effective in helping consumers improve their recycling habit,” said Gilling.

The announcement to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label follows Nestlé’s global ambition to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

To achieve its 2025 goal, Nestlé will focus on three core areas: eliminate non-recyclable plastics; encourage the use of plastics that allow better recycling rates; and eliminate or change complex combinations of packaging materials.

Nestlé seeks new options for Lean Cuisine in Australia

Nestlé is considering alternative options for its Lean Cuisine brand in Australia, including selecting a new partner to manufacture and market the brand.

The announcement, on the 22nd of August, followed a decision by Simplot Australia not to renew its licence agreement to manufacture and market Lean Cuisine in Australia from end November 2019.

Simplot has manufactured and marketed Lean Cuisine under licence since 2009.

The decision is part of a broader review which will see Simplot Australia exit the frozen meals category to concentrate on its core capabilities in potatoes, vegetable, seafood, pasta and sauces.

READ: Nestlé joins Global Coalition to advance animal welfare standards

Lean Cuisine is a range of frozen prepared meals using quality ingredients and specifically developed by chefs and nutritionists.

The range is low in fat and free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.

Lean Cuisine meals are simply cooked and frozen, to maintain nutrition and great taste.

Nestlé and Simplot have committed to work closely together to ensure consumers and customers experience a smooth and seamless transition to continue Lean Cuisine’s successful journey to provide solutions for healthy living.

Nestlé sells off confectionery brands in New Zealand

Nestlé is selling off toffees, licorice and other confectionery in New Zealand.

The company is saying goodbye to lollies, but it’s staying in the business of producing chocolate and baking goods for the New Zealand market.

RJ’s in New Zealand will purchase the Mackintosh’s, Heards, Oddfellows, Black Knight and Fabulicious Red Licorice brands from Nestlé.

The completion of the sale is expected to happen on the 31st of August.

READ: Nestlé joins Global Coalition to advance animal welfare standards

Where possible, RJ’s intends to continue the manufacture of these brands in New Zealand, with plans to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Nestlé will also sell the Life Savers brand to Darrell Lea in Australia.

The sale of these brands will result in up to 55 redundancies from Wiri factory, but RJ’s is helping to identify opportunities for redundant workers.

Earlier in July, Nestlé announced it was committed to using certified sustainable palm oil in all its products by 2023.

Nestlé’s global head of responsible sourcing Benjamin Ware said transparency in Nestlé’s supply chain had always been a priority.

“Nestlé has always been committed to implementing responsible sourcing and has made significant progress towards our commitment to using fully responsibly sourced palm oil,” he said.

“Nestlé supports RSPO’s role in driving industry wide change and appreciates its decision following the submission of our action plan, which focuses on increasing traceability primarily through segregated RSPO palm oil,” said Ware.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil reinstated Nestlé’s membership following its time-bound action plan to achieve 100 per cent RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.


Nestlé joins Global Coalition to advance animal welfare standards

Nestlé and six other food companies have joined forces, through the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare, to advance welfare standards throughout the global food supply chain.

The global coalition is an industry-led collaboration uniting major companies and animal welfare experts to work towards improving standard for animals.

Other companies in the coalition include Unilever, Ikea Food Services, Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group and Sodexo.

Nestlé hopes to accelerate the development of standards and progress on key welfare issues.

The global coalition aims to publish a collective action agenda in the first half of 2019, focusing on five priority work streams, including cage free policies and improved broiler chicken welfare.

READ: Nestlé pledges to use only certified sustainable palm oil within five years

In 2017, Nestlé announced that it will only source cage free eggs for all its food products globally by 2025.

Ensuring decent farm animal welfare standard in the company’s supply chain us a key focus.

Nestlé’s half-year results have also been released. The results show increased momentum in the United States and China, as well as in infant nutrition.

There has been an organic growth of 2.8 per cent.

Total sales increased by 2.3 per cent, to 43.9 billion Swiss Francs (CHF), compared to the previous half-yearly results.

Earnings per share increased by 21.4 per cent to CHF 1.92 on a reported basis.

Free cash flow increased by 52 per cent, from CHF 1.9 billion to CHF 2.9 billion.

Nestlé CEO said Mark Schneider said the first half results confirmed that Nestlé’s strategic initiatives and rigorous execution were paying off.

“Nestlé has maintained the encouraging organic revenue growth momentum we saw at the beginning of the year. In particular, the United States and China markets showed a meaningful improvement. We were also pleased by the enhanced organic growth in our core infant nutrition category,” he said.

Looking towards the second half of 2018, there would be further improvement in organic revenue growth, he said.

“Margin improvement is expected to accelerate with further benefits from our efficiency programs and more favorable commodity pricing,” said Schneider.


Shift in rankings of companies listed in Rabobank Global Dairy Top 20

For the second consecutive year, there are no new entrants to the Rabobank’s Dairy Top 20 list, but there’s been a slight shuffle in rankings.

The world’s largest food and beverage company, Switzerland’s Nestlé, reigns supreme on the list, but the gap between number one and number two has narrowed.

French Lactalis swapped places with Danone, moving into second place.

Danone slipped to the third spot, after divesting Stonyfield following the acquisition of WhiteWave, reducing its stake in Yakult, and selling its holdings in the Al Safi Danone joint venture in Saudi Arabia.

READ: Nestlé pledges to use only certified sustainable palm oil within five years

Dairy price recovery in 2017 has positively affected the combined turnover of the top 20 global dairy companies, which was up 7.2 per cent on the year in USD, RaboResearch has shown.

Dairy senior analyst Peter Paul Coppes said the USD five billion threshold was difficult to achieve due to a scarcity of large acquisitions or mergers.

“However, while the names have remained the same, the order shifted in 2017.”

Merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity in the dairy sector grew in 2017, fuelled – as in other sectors – by the availability of cheap capital.

Cooperatives are still dominating, but they are also challenged. Deals between Danone and WhiteWave, and Saputo and Murray Goulburn, had limited impact on rankings within the Global Dairy Top 20.

While M&A occurs in the dairy sector, dairy acquisitions tend to be limited in size and financial impact.

There is potential for growth within increased collaborations between Chinese and non-Chinese companies. If this happens, China has the potential to create a pipeline of global management talent.

Chinese companies need to address the integration of non-Chinese management as they consider global growth opportunities.

Rabobank sees an increased amount of disruption-based M&A deals, either defensive or opportunistic.

By nature, these deals are often small and involve start-ups, but they are growing in volume.

Nestlé pledges to use only certified sustainable palm oil within five years

Well known chocolate manufacturer Nestlé is committed to using certified sustainable palm oil in all its products by 2023.

On Monday, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO ) reinstated Nestlé’s membership following its time-bound action plan to achieve 100 per cent RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.

RSPO and Nestlé’s vision is to transform the palm oil industry for a sustainable future.

In a bid to achieve this they believe the entire industry needs to be more transparent and inclusive.

Achieving this also requires direct supply chain engagement and capacity building throughout the supply chain.

Nestlé’s global head of responsible sourcing Benjamin Ware said transparency in Nestlé’s supply chain had always been a priority.

“Nestlé has always been committed to implementing responsible sourcing and has made significant progress towards our commitment to using fully responsibly sourced palm oil.

“Nestlé supports RSPO’s role in driving industry wide change and appreciates its decision following the submission of our action plan, which focuses on increasing traceability primarily through segregated RSPO palm oil.

“This builds on Nestlé’s ongoing activities to achieve a traceable and responsibly sourced palm oil supply chain.”

Nestlé would play a leading role within RSPO by participating in working groups and sharing its experiences in addressing some of the critical environmental and socio-economic challenges affecting the sector, said Ware.

“In line with the RSPO’s objectives, this work will focus on preventing deforestation, particularly the protection of peatland and high-carbon stock land, as well as respecting human rights across the value chain,” said Ware.

RSPO CEO Darrel Webber said when joining RSPO all members made a commitment to transform the palm oil industry.

“Nestlé has pledged to step up their efforts in working actively on solutions within the RSPO system, via active participation.

“It’s with this in mind that we are welcoming Nestlé back to the Roundtable, confident they will live up to our membership obligations and succeed in delivering on their time-bound plan. We trust that by working collectively we are able to realise a sustainable, respectful and responsible palm oil industry.”

APCO, Planet Ark labelling scheme to combat waste

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), alongside Planet Ark and PREP Design, have launched a nation-wide labelling scheme that will help consumers better understand how to recycle products effectively.

Leading organisations including Australia Post, Blackmores, Nestlé, Officeworks, Unilever and Woolworthshave already pledged their commitment to using the label and as such are actively working towards reducing the amount of waste going to landfill in Australia.

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) will reportedly help solve Australia’s critical waste issues by increasing recycling rates and clearly outlining for consumers what product packaging is made from so they can correctly recycle it after use.

The label will lead to greater transparency amongst industry and drive more sustainable supply chain models. Businesses that pledge their commitment to the ARL gain access to a unique analysis tool that will allow them to better understand the materials they use in their packaging and associated environmental impacts. This will allow them to more effectively address problematic materials throughout the supply chain.

“The Australasian Recycling Label has been the result of close collaboration and partnership – core values of APCO. By bringing together the priorities of government and industry, and through our partnership with Planet Ark and PREP, we’ve been able to deliver a scheme that has real value for all parties and for the broader community as well,” said Brooke Donnelly, CEO of APCO.

“We’re incredibly proud of this initiative and of our members who have already pledged their commitment.The broad representation across industries demonstrates the growing sense of sustainability awareness and commitment in the Australian business community. We look forward to working with more organisations to collectively achieve better recycling rates and reduce waste to landfill.”

Nestlé to go cage egg free

Nestlé,​ ​the​ ​world’s​ ​largest​ ​food​ ​company, has​ ​announced​ ​its​ ​commitment​ ​to​ ​eliminate​ ​cages​ ​from​ ​its​ ​egg​ ​supply​ ​chain​ ​worldwide.​ ​This policy​ ​will​ be adopted in 189 countries, including Australia, and will improve the lives of tens of millions of hens.

The multinational food giant sells everything from cereal to baby food. This new policy to phase out cage eggs will affect Nestlé products in Australia that include Lean Cuisine, Nesquik and KitKat.

Animals Australia said the​ ​commitment​ ​is​ ​a major​ ​step​​ ​toward​ sparing all hens from life in a​ ​cage​ ​across​ ​the​ ​global​ ​egg​ ​industry.

“We commend ​Nestlé’s​ ​ground-breaking​ ​animal​ ​welfare​ ​policy. As the largest food company in the world, this decision is a signal to the rest of the food industry that cage eggs don’t have a future,”​ ​said​ Jesse Marks, Animals Australia Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy.​ ​

“Australian consumers are concerned about the cruelty egg-laying hens suffer in cages, with a recent Roy Morgan poll showing that 67 per cent of Australians are more likely to support a company that has a policy not to use or sell cage eggs. This decision by Nestlé demonstrates how leaders in the corporate sector can listen to their customers and respond.”

Nestlé’s commitment comes just a week after a similar decision from the largest global hotel chain, Wyndham Hotel Group, which operates 26 hotels and resorts across Australia and 8,100 hotels globally.

Nestlé and Wyndham Hotel Group now join the growing number of major companies in Australia, and globally, that are cutting cage eggs from their supply chain – including, Subway, McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks, Woolworths, Aldi, McCain, Arnott’s, Hilton, and many others.

These​ ​ policies followed negotiations with​ ​members​ ​of​ ​​the Open​ ​Wing​ ​Alliance​,​ ​a​ ​global​ ​coalition​ ​of​ ​animal​ ​protection organisations,​ including Animals Australia​.  Both commitments will result in a complete phase out of cage eggs in Australia by 2025.

Nestlé finds way to makes less sugar taste just as good


Nestlé researchers have found a way to structure sugar in such a way that, even when much less is used in chocolate, the tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before.

The discovery will enable Nestlé to significantly decrease the total sugar in its confectionery products, while maintaining a natural taste.

“This truly groundbreaking research is inspired by nature and has the potential to reduce total sugar by up to 40% in our confectionery,” said Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer.

“Our scientists have discovered a completely new way to use a traditional, natural ingredient.”

Nestlé is patenting its findings and will begin to use the faster-dissolving sugar across a range of its confectionery products from 2018 onwards.

The company expects to provide more details about the first roll-out of reduced-sugar confectionery sometime next year.

The research will accelerate Nestlé’s efforts to meet its continued public commitment to reducing sugar in its products.

It is one of a wide range of commitments the company has made on nutrition. This includes improving the nutritional profile of its products by reducing the amount of sugar, salt and saturated fat they contain, while at the same time as increasing healthier nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and whole grain.


Nestlé collaborates with DBV on diagnostic tool for cow’s milk protein allergy

Nestlé Health Science today has entered into a strategic collaboration with DBV Technologies aimed at developing and bringing to market DBV’s innovative patch-test tool for the diagnosis of Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) in infants.

CMPA is a difficult to diagnose condition, which impacts up to 2-3 per cent¹ of infants and young children during a critical stage of their development. DBV will leverage its proprietary Viaskin technology platform to develop an innovative, ready-to-use, standardized atopy patch-test.

Today, CMPA is often missed in the primary care settings due to the non-specific nature of symptoms associated with the condition, such as eczema, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea, crying and others.

In the future, DBV’s patch-test will enable early and accurate diagnosis of the condition, leading to early nutritional intervention, thereby creating a strong fit with Nestlé Health Science’s nutritional solutions that helps meet the needs of babies and children with food allergies and intolerances (Althéra, Alfaré, Alfamino).

Under the terms of the agreement, DBV grants Nestlé Health Science exclusive worldwide commercialization rights of DBV’s diagnostic tool. Nestlé Health Science will make an upfront payment of EUR 10 million. DBV will be responsible for the development stages, including industrialization and regulatory submissions. Moreover, DBV is eligible to receive development milestones, and if approved, sales milestones and royalty payments on sales.


  1. Høst A. Frequency of cow’s milk allergy in childhood. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2002;89(Sup1):33-7

Shazam makes KITKAT packaging interactive

Music identification app Shazam has partnered with Nestlé, in an effort to enhance the way marketers engage with consumers and consumers engage with brands. The partnership will see millions of Shazam-enabled KITKAT bars distributed as part of their latest consumer promotion.

To be in with a chance to win, consumers are invited to purchase any promotional KITKAT, Shazam the packaging, go to the website and follow the prompts. ‘Shazaming’ is easy – consumers simply need to open the Shazam app on their smartphone, hold the phone over the front of the KITKAT and then tap the camera icon to visually Shazam the packaging.

Visual recognition launched in June last year as part of Shazam’s broader Shazam Connect for Brands product offering. When coupled with the apps existing audio recognition capabilities it allows marketers, for the first time, to make all consumer facing touch points clickable; including traditional media, POS and packaging – effectively building a bridge from physical to digital.

Shazam’s VP Asia Pacific, Steve Sos said: “We have launched over 40 visual campaigns since mid-last year but this is certainly our most ambitious undertaking to date.  It is great to be working so closely with such a progressive marketer on one of the world’s truly iconic brands, KITKAT.  Our one touch audio and visual recognition, coupled with the scale our waterfront property on millions of smartphones brings, should add an exciting layer of interactivity and engagement to the KITKAT campaign.”

Chris O’Donnell, Head of Marketing at Nestle said: “The partnership between KITKAT and Shazam shows how we can bring innovative and easy-to-use technology to consumers to enhance their break and delight them in new ways. We are excited to be the first confectionery brand in Australia to offer this technology on packaging and in doing so truly integrate through the line. There will be over 4.7 million Shazam-enabled KITKAT bars in the Australian market”.

The promotion is being rolled out via Shazam-enabled packaging, TVC’s, digital marketing and social media, as part of a fully integrated campaign.

Nestlé and R&R to form ice cream joint venture

Nestlé and UK based ice cream company R&R have agreed to form a joint venture that will sell ice cream and frozen food in over 20 countries including Australia.

The 50/50 joint will be called Froneri and will be headquartered in the UK. As Reuters reports, there are plans to eventually list the company on the London Stock Exchange.

Apart from Australia, Froneri will operate primarily in Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel), Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa. The new company will combine Nestlé and R&R’s ice cream activities in the relevant countries and will include Nestlé’s European frozen food business (excluding pizza and retail frozen food in Italy), as well as its chilled dairy business in the Philippines.

“We are doing this in order to reinforce our positions to compete in a marketplace in a revolution in retail,” Luis Cantarell, head of Nestle’s Europe, Middle East and Africa business, told Reuters. “They have better capabilities (at retail) and we see an opportunity of a more holistic approach.”

R&R, one of Britain’s largest ice cream makers, is owned PAI Partners.

“Froneri, through the combination of Nestlé’s and R&R’s expertise, and the backing of PAI Partners, is a unique and exciting opportunity for further strong growth. We look forward to further leveraging our industrial approach to ownership and strong consumer expertise to support R&R in this new venture,” said Frédéric Stévenin, a partner at PAI Partners.

The transaction is subject to employee consultations and the approval of regulatory authorities. Financial details are not being disclosed.


Nestlé expands in South Africa

Nestlé South Africa has invested R1.2 billion into the expansion of its instant coffee manufacturing plant in Estcourt.

The expansion included the construction of a waste water treatment plant, new coffee processing plant, upgrading existing coffee processing and a the state of the art coffee drying plant. At least 20 direct and more than 470 indirect jobs have been created since construction commenced.

“We believe that for a company to be successful in the long-term it has to create value for shareholders and communities where it operates,” said Ravi Pillay, Corporate Affairs Director for Nestlé South Africa.

“Investments of this magnitude demonstrate the Nestlé Group’s commitment to long-term business sustainability and economic development in Africa.

“Through this investment we will increase capacity for our coffee factory and meet the growing consumer demand for coffee in the region. This is also aligned with our ambition of being the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company while offering our consumers quality, nutritious and affordable products.”

2016 marks Nestlé’s 100 years of operations in South Africa. The company has eight manufacturing facilities, four distribution centres and 3,500 full time permanent employees across the country.

Nestlé Vietnam to invest USD 70 million in new factory

Nestlé Vietnam has begun construction of a new USD 70 million factory at Thang Long II Industrial Park located in Hung Yen province, North of Vietnam. The factory will be built on an area of 10 hectares to facilitate the company’s product innovations for the local consumption.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Senior Vice President – Zone Asia Oceania Africa (AOA) Technical Management – Alfredo Fenollosa , the Chairman of Hung Yen People’s Committee, local authorities and the Ambassador of Switzerland in Vietnam.

This investment confirms Nestlé’s confidence in and long-term commitment to Vietnam. The factory is part of Nestlé Vietnam’s strategy to further reinforce its leading position as a nutrition, health and wellness company.

The new factory will help bring Nestlé products closer to the North consumers and will enable the company to further strengthen its supply chain to ensure freshness of its products to local consumers. The factory is expected to create 300 new job opportunities for the local people by May 2017.

Over the last 20 years, Nestlé Vietnam’s investment in Vietnam has been increased significantly – from USD 24 million in 1995 to USD 520 million in 2016.

Nestlé to develop iconic Italian chocolate brand internationally

Nestlé has announced a significant investment in Baci Perugina to further strengthen this iconic Italian chocolate brand on the world stage.

The company will extend and modernise its factory in San Sisto commune and establish a new business unit to drive global growth for its Italian chocolate business. This includes investing in marketing to grow Baci Perugina sales abroad.

Baci Perugina is already established as an historical brand in Italy. Now the company is looking to further its presence in its home country and also to make it into a symbol of ‘Made in Italy’ around the world.

The move will start with the set-up of the new Confectionery International Business Unit, which the Group has entrusted to Valeria Norreri, one of the key managers responsible for international expansion of S. Pellegrino brand (1.3 billion bottles sold in 145 countries).

Her work greatly contributed to transforming a mineral water into a product now recognized all around the world as a synonym of Italian excellence in the food and beverage market.

"I enthusiastically accepted this nomination; for me it is a new, exciting challenge" said Valeria Norreri, Nestlé Italy Confectionery IBU Manager.

"Baci Perugina has an exceptional legacy of tradition. Sales results of several countries confirm that the product has the potential to win in foreign markets. Now we have the opportunity to develop its value in international markets, relying on the Italian talent that combines the quality of know-how with passion and lifestyle. It’s more than just chocolate: we will tell the pleasure of surrounding with small things, gestures of love, and Italian-style flirting to create unforgettable moments made in Baci Perugina".

Already today, 40% of the volume produced at San Sisto goes to foreign markets, with Nestlé chocolate bars for all Europe. The modernization plan will increase the factory competitiveness, in order to sustain the business expansion plan.

Nestle net profit down 37%

The world’s largest food company Nestle has reported a 37 per cent drop in net profit, as CEO Paul Bulcke nears the end of his tenure.

AAP reports that the profit drop was caused by a number of factors, including the strengthening Swiss franc, re-evaluation of Nestle’s stake in the Galderma dermatological pharmaceutical business and the 2014 sale of its stake in cosmetics company, L'Oreal.

“In 2015 we delivered profitable growth at the higher end of the industry in what is still a challenging environment. This profitable growth was on the back of consistent performances in previous years,” commented Bulcke.

 “Our organic growth of 4.2% was supported by increased momentum in real internal growth combined with continued margin improvement. Additionally, we grew or maintained market share in the majority of our categories and markets.”

The company delivered a trading operating profit margin of 15.1%, up 10 basis points in constant currencies, and has proposed a dividend increase to CHF 2.25 per share.

Nestle scores Didier Drogba deal to improve Education

Nestle have announced their intention to build a new state-run primary school for the Didier Drogba Foundation in Drogba's home region of Gagnoa. 

Didier Drogba started the foundation that bears his name to help vulnerable Ivorians in the area of education, and it has now partnered with Nestle to further these goals, which the company supports.

The partnership marks the announcement that KitKat is now the world's first global confectionery brand sourced from 100 per cent sustainable cocoa, supplied under the Nestle Cocoa Plan.

The Plan enables farmers to run profitable farmers and enables the company to source good quality, sustainable cocoa for its products. Crucially, it also improves social conditions in farming communities.

Nick Weatherill, Executive Director of International Cocoa Initiative, an organisation that promotes child protection in cocoa communities, insists that well-built schools do help in the fight against child labor.

“If there’s no school in a community, then there’s no real alternative for kids. Since their parents are hardly going to let them sit at home doing nothing, the likelihood of them working on the farm is therefore higher. So building one is an essential part of the response.”

“If that school offers high quality education, and it’s free, then you rarely find a cocoa farmer who doesn’t want to send his child. That said, bricks and mortar alone isn’t enough.”

Weatherill warns that if farmers can’t afford to hire adult workers to replace their children, then they can be reluctant to send them to school. That’s why it’s also vital to address the problem of rural poverty.

Nestlé China signs Alibaba partnership

Nestlé has strengthened its global capabilities in e-commerce by signing a partnership with Alibaba in China, to grow online sales, build key brands and offer new products to millions of consumers.

Nestlé has introduced products including Nido milk powder, Damak chocolate and Nescafé Dolce Gusto BMW MINI coffee machines on Tmall.com, China’s largest shopping website for brands and retailers. Using Taobao.com, the country’s largest shopping site overall, Nestlé is expanding its distribution in rural areas.

Nestlé e-commerce successes to date include the Nespresso online boutique, and the recent global launch of super-premium chocolate brand Cailler using Amazon as the primary retailer.

Sebastien Szczepaniak, Vice President of Group Sales and eBusiness, said that Nestlé’s online sales are growing more than 25% per year.

“Moreover, offline purchases are increasingly influenced by what we see online, so brand building has gone beyond having good television advertising and nice packaging. Our ability to build brands on any touchpoint, be it digital or analogue, is vital," he said.

Access to Nutrition Index: Nestlé leads on breast milk substitute marketing

Nestlé has improved its ranking in the 2016 Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI) to first place for its marketing of breast milk substitutes and came second in the overall index.

In committing to marketing breast milk subtitutes responsibly, Nestlé aligned with World Health Organisation Codes and subsequent resolutions that resulted in ATNI improvements.

ATNI 2016 ranks the world's largest 22 food and beverage companies on their nutrition-related commitments and performance across seven categories: governance, products, accessibility, marketing, lifestyles, labelling and engagement. 

Nestlé came top in other sub-categories aside from BMS marketing: general nutrition and undernutrition. The index highlights Nestle's "clear corporate nutrition strategy" that covers reformulation, access to healthy foods and marketing: areas where it has built trust by making clear public commitments. 

ATNI was developed as an independent benchmarking tool for use by investors, health advocates and companies, and is collated using information in the public domain and supplied by companies themselves.

Driven by its passion for nutrition, Nestlé will continue to engage with ATNI, and welcomes the report’s specific recommendations on how it can improve its performance, to tackle global nutrition challenges.