Nestlé reorganizes operations to maintain food supply in Ukraine

Nestlé SA has reportedly reorganized its supply chain and operations in Ukraine to maintain food supply in the war-struck country. The company has also ramped up efforts to provide food donations to Ukraine’s most affected parts.

Since Russia’s invasion in February, many major multinationals ceased operations in Ukraine due to concerns surrounding labor shortages, employee safety, and the challenge of importing raw materials into the country.

Initially, Nestlé closed all three factories in Ukraine following the invasion. Then, a couple of days later, it reopened the confectionery facility in Lviv and its condiments facility in the northwestern region of Volyn to resume the necessary food supply of the country.

To safeguard factory staff from ongoing airstrike threats, the Nescafe and KitKat owner has converted underground rooms into bomb shelters and shut the elevators. It has also modified production lines to adjust frequent starts and stops and reduced the on-site staff at any one time to assure maximum accommodation in the shelters.

Both Volyn and Lviv regions have suffered airstrikes recently, with Volodymyr Spivak, the Corporate Affairs Director of Nestlé for Moldova and Ukraine, claiming to have heard sirens. Mr. Spivak has relocated to Lviv from Kyiv where he helped direct the relief efforts of the company.

Nestlé is among many food makers, including Smithfield Foods Inc., and General Mills Inc., that have been sending food packages to Ukraine.

In the meantime, companies ranging from tech company Fractal Analytics Inc. to German auto supplier Leoni AG have made modifications intended at safeguarding their staff in the country.

Nestlé, which employs over 5,000 workers in Ukraine, contended with nearly a third of its staff relocating during the invasion and disrupting its supply chains. For example, tomatoes previously sourced from Ukraine to make sauces are now imported from Portugal and Italy.

The company has also recently announced its intention to narrow down sales in Russia to essential items like medical nutrition and baby food products.

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