Nestle to invest in Venezuela

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CARACAS -- Nestle has announced the opening next October of its new $60 million factory in Santa Cruz, Venezuela, geared to supply chocolate, candy and cookie products to Colombia, Ecuador, Central America and the Caribbean Islands as well as to Venezuela.

The importance of exports can be judged by Nestle Venezuela President Hermann Meyer's report that sales of chocolate bars in this country have decreased 40% since last year and remain stagnant.

The new plant will employ over 500 workers and is set to use 35% to 40% of the nation's total cocoa production - around 5000 tons a year.

Nestle operates crop collection centers in both the east and west cocoa producing areas of the country. According to Carlos Eduardo Represas, Nestle's executive VP for the Americas, the new plant is evidence of the company's confidence in Venezuelan economic recovery.

In a move to further diversification, Nestle acquired the local Protinal brand of pet foods nine months ago, and in a few weeks will start selling in its new formula Perrarina Plus Dog Food to supermarkets and pet stores.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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