Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Food manufacturing giant Nestle has expanded operations in the Philippines with the opening of a new plant and committed to fresh investments in 2013.
Officials said Nestle already started producing Coffee-Mate Non-Dairy Creamer and other products at the new 5-billion-peso (US$120 million) factory in Tanauan, Batangas.
This is the first time the company will locally produce Coffee-Mate, which used to be imported from Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand, Nestle officials said.
The Tanauan factory will also produce Bear Brand powdered milk. The same brand is already being manufactured in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Tanauan manufacturing facility is the company's fifth in the country, Nestle said.
Also, the company has earmarked another 5 billion pesos in capital expenditures in the Philippines for 2013, although actual disbursements may flow through 2014, said Nandu Nandkishore, Nestle S.A. executive vice president for Asia Oceania and Africa.
The Philippines is among Nestle's major markets in the region, Nandkishore said in a briefing.
Nestle Philippines chair and CEO John Martin Miller said the company would like to source most of its coffee and other ingredients in the country.
To this end, Nestle is working with the Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders to improve domestic output and meet the company's requirements.
David Findlay, Nestle Philippines technical director, said the Tanauan factory, for example, would need cassava and corn among other ingredients to make non-dairy creamer.
Nestle has invested close to 16 billion pesos in the country from 2008 to 2012. Around 86 percent went to the improvement of production capabilities to meet the growing local market demand.
The balance of 14 percent went to sales infrastructure, distribution and information technology.
The company's sales stood at 103 billion pesos in 2011, up from P94 billion in 2012. In 2011, exports totaled 34,000 metric tons worth 6.6 billion pesos.
According to Nandkishore, the Nestle Group has always considered the Philippines to be an attractive investment destination.
He noted that the Philippines' bright economic prospects and improving business sentiment would make the country a more attractive investment site and should, in turn, contribute significantly to the country's growth.
The Tanauan factory stands on a 27-hectare property within the First Philippines Industrial Park, which was selected for its excellent infrastructure, ease of access, environmental advantages, and proximity to the ports of Batangas and Manila.
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