Nestlé closes Egyptian production plants, HQ

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 3rd February 2011

Nestlé has closed its three production plants in Egypt – and its local headquarters in Cairo – due to the political unrest in the African country.

The world’s largest food manufacturer makes culinary products, beverages and ice cream in Egypt but said its operations in the country had been “temporarily interrupted” amid the crisis.

“Nestlé Egypt’s headquarters in Cairo, as well as its three factories, will remain closed until the security situation improves. We continue to monitor the situation very closely,” a spokesperson told just-food.

The unrest, due to widespread demands and protests for President Hosni Mubarak to stand down after three decades as leader, is having an impact on a number of food multinationals operating in Egypt.

Unilever has closed offices in the country, while French retail giant Carrefour has had to close its seven outlets.

Danone’s fresh dairy production plant on the outskirts of Cairo has been closed since Friday. Its rival French dairy maker Lactalis has seen production at its four factories close to the Egyptian capital intermittently affected. Some of Lactalis’s French and European staff have returned home.

However, US food giant Heinz, which has operations in the country, told just-food today that its operations had not been affected.

PepsiCo, meanwhile, has seen its staff in Egypt “protect” its operations in the country, which have not so far been disrupted, according to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. PepsiCo has, nevertheless, flown its expat employees out of the country.