Nestlé announced yesterday that it will invest CHF 40 million (A$44.6 million) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as the DRC, over the next three years.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo remains one of the world’s most unstable nations. The mineral-rich country was the centre of Africa’s ‘world war’ between 1998 and 2003, a conflict which killed an estimated 3 million people through conflict, disease and malnutrition. The DRC’s eastern states continue to be a centre of army and militia violence.
Under the investment boost, Nestlé plans to build a new factory in the relatively stable Congolese capital Kinshasa, earmarked to produce well-known food and coffee brands including Nescafé 3-in-1 and Maggi. Other products, including dairy, beverage and some coffee categories, will be tailored to local market needs.
“Nestlé is committed to unlocking the business opportunities and to promote growth of our market in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the establishment of distribution centres and sales offices in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Goma in 2009, we have seen a remarkable growth, which we are now responding to by strengthening our presence,” said Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke.
“By building a new factory in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we will come closer to our consumers and can better adapt our products to their taste and nutritional needs.”
By 2011, Nestlé plans to locally source raw materials for its culinary and coffee production. In addition, the number of Nestlé employees will expand to 300 people when the investment project concludes at the end of 2012.
Currently, Nestlé DRC offers brands including Nido, Nestlé Sweetened and Condensed Milk, Maggi, Nescafé, Nesquik, Milo, Cerelac and Nan, sourced from other Nestlé markets.
The DRC is under the Nestlé Equatorial African Region (EAR) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland.
Nestlé EAR was set up in 2008 and oversees the Nestlé operations in 20 countries including Kenya, Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Malawi, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.