News of note: Cantarell leading Nestlé Zone Americas

Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, promoted Luis Cantarell to executive vice president and head of Zone Americas, effective in early September. Cantarell ran Nestlé’s global Nutrition business before he was promoted to head of the company's European operations. He succeeds Paul Polman, who left to pursue opportunities at Unilever PLC.

Nestlé operations insights: Did you know?

Nestlé Prepared Foods’ Jonesboro, Ark., plant was one of just 19 companies to earn one of Arkansas’ 2008 Governor’s Work-Life Initiative Awards. This award honors state employers (including Nestlé in the “large company” bracket) whose efforts and benefits support a healthy work-life balance. State judges recognized Nestlé for offering medical, dental and vision insurance; education reimbursement; a 401K program; retirement pensions; nutrition, health and wellness programs; discounted health club memberships; paid days off for good attendance; performance incentives; and even free baby formula. Nestlé offers benefits to full- and part-time employees alike. Of note: Nestlé offers a noncontributory pension plan where employees are fully vested - at no cost - after three years of employment.

In 2001, Nestlé Prepared Foods said it would invest $165 million to build the Jonesboro plant (completed in 2003). According to Arkansas Business, that investment still ranks as one of the largest single start-ups by a company in state history. With its latest expansion efforts, Nestlé is investing $60 million more in Jonesboro.

When it built Jonesboro in 2003, global parent Nestlé S.A. noted that the 325,000-square-foot plant would feature the “world’s largest” carbon dioxide mechanical refrigeration-based food freezing system. Officials said the technology allows Nestlé to operate its freezing systems at temperatures below traditional ammonia-based refrigeration systems. Meanwhile, the technology is relegated to a central engine room, which allows Nestlé to remove refrigeration components (and most importantly, ammonia) from the processing floor.

Nestlé recognized for global sustainability efforts...

Nestlé S.A. was one of only two food companies to make the 2008 “Global 100,” a listing of the 100 “most sustainable” corporations, according to Corporate Knights Inc., a Canadian media company; and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, an international investment advisory firm.

Innovest said it researched companies from 16 countries in sectors ranging from “Oil and Gas” to “Wireless Technology Services.” All companies were evaluated according to how effectively they manage environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, relative to industry peers.

“As global investors become increasingly concerned about economic prospects for 2008, we believe that the Global 100 will be particularly well positioned to weather the storm and deliver superior value to investors,” noted Matthew Kiernan, Innovest chief executive officer.

... and talking about it at PACK EXPO International

Betsy Cohen, vice president of sustainability with Nestlé USA, will deliver a keynote address on Monday, Nov. 10, during the PACK EXPO International convention in Chicago. Her presentation, “More Safety vs. Less Material? Where Does Packaging Go?” will dovetail with the conference’s overall theme of “Change, Innovation and Sustainability.”

Show organizers say Cohen will discuss the challenges, conflicts and competing values that packaging professionals must balance every day. In her current role, Cohen coordinates sustainability-related matters throughout several Nestlé divisions in categories including beverages, confections, prepared foods and pet products. She also is vice president of veterinary business for Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis.

Nestlé is "most admired" consumer food products company

Nestlé USA is the nation’s “most admired” consumer food products company for 2008, according to an independent survey of corporate directors, executives and industry analysts.

According to Fortune magazine’s March 17, 2008, issue, Nestlé led the top 10 consumer food products companies in recommendations from voters. Philadelphia’s Hay Group asked industry leaders to evaluate Fortune 1,000 CPG companies on the basis on eight criteria: innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment and product and/or service quality.