Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has blasted Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé for maintaining business ties with Russia despite his country’s invasion.
“‘Good food. Good life.’ That’s Nestlé’s slogan, your company that refuses to leave Russia,” Zelenskyy said in a televised address to the Swiss population on Saturday.
“Even now – when Russia threatens other European countries. Not only with us. If there is even nuclear blackmail from Russia.”
Nestlé, maker of KitKat chocolate bars, Gerber baby food and Dreyer’s ice cream, has defended its decision to continue operations in Russia.
More than 400 multinationals have either partially or fully withdrawn from Russia amid intense public pressure to sever ties with the country in protest of its military attack on Ukraine.
A spokesman for Nestlé, which employs more than 7,000 people in Russia, said CNN: “We have significantly reduced our activities in Russia: we have stopped all imports and exports from Russia, with the exception of essential products.”
“We no longer invest and no longer advertise our products. We are not making a profit from our remaining activities.”
The spokesman added: “Just because we are providing essential food to the population like other food companies does not mean we are simply going on as we have been.”
“We are still one of the few active food companies in Ukraine and sometimes even manage to distribute food in Kharkiv.”
Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine. It is under fire from Russian forces.
Earlier this month, Nestlé announced it would halt all exports of its products from Russia, with the exception of essential items like baby formula.
Nestlé also said it would not import Nespresso and other products to Russia, although it made exceptions for baby food, cereals and therapeutic pet foods.
While hundreds of companies have already left Russia, some that have tried to leave Russia, including McDonald’s, Burger King’s fast-food rival, have encountered difficulties.
Burger King’s parent company said the fast-food chain could not close hundreds of stores in Russia because its main franchisee in the country “declined” to do so despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.
While McDonald’s has closed all of its company-owned stores in Russia, some local franchisees have continued.
And Russia has relaxed intellectual property laws for Western firms operating in the country – raising concerns that local operators will seek to exploit the new loopholes.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/21/zelensky-blasts-nestle-for-doing-business-in-russia-amid-ukraine-war/ Zelensky blasts Nestlé for doing business in Russia amid Ukraine war