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'Crass' Nestle dish out vegan fruit pastilles at COP26 while planning to close factory

10 Nov 2021
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Unions GMB and Unite have slammed ‘crass’ Nestle for giving out vegan fruit pastilles at COP26 – while planning to sack or offshore the 500 workers who make them. 

In a bid to boost its green credentials, the confectionary giant distributed free sweets to delegates and visitors during the first week of the climate conference in Glasgow. 

Meanwhile, Nestle plans to close its site in Fawdon, near Newcastle, which produces fruit pastilles. 

The plant will close at the end of 2023 costing 475 jobs. 

Fruit Pastille production will then be moved to the Czech Republic – but the sweets will be transported back to this country for consumption by the UK market, increasing greenhouse gas emissions emissions and the company’s carbon footprint. 

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer, said: 

“Our members are disgusted Nestle would use products they make to boost its green credentials– while planning behind the scenes to move their jobs to Eastern Europe”. 

“It’s crass, underhanded and insensitive. 

“Moving production to the Czech Republic is clearly bad news for UK manufacturing; so much for Brexit retaining jobs and bringing jobs home. 

“But as Fruit Pastilles are consumed by the UK market and will have to transported back from Eastern Europe by road and sea, it will massively increase Nestle’s carbon footprint by adding greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants into the environment. 

“It makes a mockery of the company’s stunt at COP26.” 

Joe Clarke, Unite National Officer, said: 

 “On the backdrop of the immense commitments throughout covid and with most employers repatriating volumes post-Brexit this course of action by Nestle is a model when put into context the current COP 26 conference, to try and gain mileage for vegan pastilles when in reality they are increasing transportation by producing these products abroad and bringing them back to the UK is hypocritical." 

Peter Schmidt, European Trade Union President for Nestle, said: 

"It is not acceptable at all that Nestlé wants to destroy 475 livelihoods while making the highest profit ever in their history just to make more money.  

“In doing this they even increase their environmental footprint, not reduce it. 

“At the same time, they want to give the impression to the public that they would be on a sustainable path towards climate neutrality.  

“So you cannot treat workers their families and the public in such a way." 

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