Foreign companies operating in Russia say they have a moral responsibility to continue providing ordinary citizens with access to nutrition.
But Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal revealed in a tweet that he had spoken with Nestle CEO Mark Schneider about the “side effects” of staying in the Russian market. “Unfortunately, he shows no understanding,” Shmyhal complained. “To pay taxes to the budget of a terrorist country is to kill helpless children and mothers [sic]. I hope Nestlé changes its mind soon.
In response, Nestlé told FoodNavigator: “We consider conversations with government authorities to be private,” adding, “In Russia, we continue to focus on meeting the needs of the local population.
Nestlé typically does 1.6 billion euros in sales in Russia and has reduced much of its Russian business to basic necessities.
These measures include halting all advertising activities and capital investments in the country and suspending exports of products out of Russia (except essential foods, such as baby food) to Commonwealth countries or independent states.
It also suspended imports of products into Russia (an example being Nespresso), except for essential foods such as baby food, cereals, and nutritional and therapeutic pet foods for specialty retailers and clinics. veterinarians.
“As a food company and employer, we recognize that we also have a responsibility to our more than 7,000 employees in Russia, most of whom are locals,”added the spokesperson.
“We have a responsibility to the people we feed”
Similarly, Unilever has suspended all imports and exports of its products to and from Russia and will halt all media and advertising spending. “Nor will we profit from our presence in Russia,”said CEO Alan Jope. The company will continue to provide the country’s people with daily essential food products, such as milk, formula and baby food made in Russia.
Danone has also suspended its investments in Russia, where it generates around 6% or 1.4 billion euros in revenue and employs around 8,000 people, but will continue to sell dairy products and baby food in the country. via popular local brand Prostokvashino.
Managing Director Antoine de Saint-Affrique told the FinancialTimesit was “very easy to get drawn into demagogic and demagogic positions, but at the end of the day our reputation depends on our behavior”.
“We have a responsibility to the people we feed, the farmers who supply us with milk and the tens of thousands of people who depend on us.”