By Shadreck Gurenje - ZANU PF Information Department
A high-powered delegation of Nestle officials today paid a courtesy call on President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a move to strengthen their business ventures in the Second Republic which has opened its doors for investment.
Speaking to the media soon after a closed door meeting with President Mnangagwa, Mr Bruno Olierhoek, the chairman and managing director of Nestle South Africa said the meeting was to evaluate progress made by his organisation in Zimbabwe in the last 60 years of existence.
“We were discussing with the President that we have been in Zimbabwe for 60 years now and next month we are celebrating our 60 years of existence.
“So we have some visitors from Switzerland who we want to show our operations in Zimbabwe and the President was very interested in the progress that Nestle is making particularly in the areas of affordable nutrition.
This is precisely where we have been focusing on and working on best products that are nutritious and affordable to the people and raw materials that are sourced as much as possible from the country," he said.
Mr Olierhoek said Nestle was committed to creating employment and expanding operations in Zimbabwe.
"We have been in Zimbabwe through thick and thin and our commitment to the President is to try do our best to stay in the country and thrive despite the situation.
Therefore it will require us to change our business model and indeed to be less dependent on importing things and develop the local industry and work with the farmers in coffee and dairy to increase what they can supply to us as per the standards and to build from there as we have strong brands like Cerevita, Nestle, Celerac and other products.
“We have indeed invested in extra capacity that will come up stream early next year. We can as well further increase production and more raw materials and create jobs especially in skills training and in nutrition." said Mr Bruno Olierhoek.
Nestle is headquartered in Switzerland and the delegation included Mr Chris Johnson, the executive vice president and chief executive officer for Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Bruno Olierhoek, the chairman and managing director of Nestle South Africa and Mr Ben Ndiaye the managing director for the company's East and Southern Africa Region .