Twenty-five years of Nestlé in PNG

2012 marks 25 years of successful manufacturing in Papua New Guinea for global food giant, Nestlé.

Nestlé's factory in Lae, Morobe Province. The Switzerland-based food giant has had a presence in the PNG market since the 1970s. Credit: Nestlé PNG

Nestlé’s factory in Lae, Morobe Province. The Switzerland-based food giant has had a presence in the PNG market since the 1970s. Credit: Nestlé PNG

Nestlé is one of the world’s leading food and nutrition companies, employing more than 330,000 people worldwide and with more than 460 factories across 83 countries.

From its humble beginnings in PNG in the late 1970s, Nestlé operations have grown to include a local manufacturing plant in Lae, which produces Maggi Instant Noodles and repacks Maggi Kakaruk Cubes, Nescafé coffee, Milo chocolate malt drink and Sunshine milk powder.

Nestlé entered the PNG market when it began importing instant noodles from Malaysia and Australia. The growing demand from Papua New Guinean consumers during these early days led the company to investigate establishing a local factory to supply instant noodles and Nescafé coffee to the local market. The Lae MaggiFactory was opened in 1987 and has steadily increased production due to strong growth in the instant noodles and stock cubes business.

Nestlé Pacific Islands' Eugene David

Nestlé Pacific Islands’ Eugene David

‘We have a strong 25-year history of providing quality products to consumers, nutrition education to the community, and good employment opportunities to our staff,’ says Eugene David, Nestlé Pacific Islands Managing Director.

Global expertise and local support

Eugene David says that, in addition to its strong connection with PNG’s manufacturing industry, Nestlé also supports local agriculture with production of Nescafé Nuigini Blend coffee using arabica beans from PNG.

Nestlé utilises its global knowledge and expertise to provide PNG consumers with product innovations that address key local health concerns. This year, Nestlé started to fortify its instant noodles with key vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, iodised salt, and vitamins B1, B2 and B3.

 ‘We remain committed to investing in PNG and are planning to make further investments in our manufacturing facilities’

Nestlé actively engages with consumers to ensure they have access to information that will help them make informed food choices. The Hamamas Dei nutrition roadshow, which commenced this year, promotes good nutrition and healthy lifestyles through a diet education program designed specifically for consumers in villages.

Maggi stock cubes remain a staple of Nestlé's PNG business. Credit: Nestlé PNG

Maggi stock cubes remain a staple of Nestlé’s PNG business. Credit: Nestlé PNG

Employment, training and growth

Today, Nestlé PNG employs more than 400 people in its Lae Factory and commercial offices, who are provided with best-practice training and development opportunities. Nestlé believes its people are its most important asset, and provides staff with ongoing training based on local and global expertise.

‘We pride ourselves on providing good career opportunities to our staff by continuing to invest in training and development,’ says Eugene David.

The Nestlé PNG plant is a modern factory environment that provides staff with a safe workplace. The company recently celebrated a record six years without workplace injuries, marking its ongoing commitment to safety.

Eugene David is confident in the long term future of Nestlé in PNG: ‘We remain committed to investing in PNG and are planning to make further investments in our manufacturing facilities in 2013 so that we can meet local consumer demand,’ he says. ‘This is a strong testament to Nestle’s continued confidence in PNG and its commitment to continue delighting PNG consumers in the years to come.’

First published in Made in PNG 2012

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