Nestle CEO says safety of Buxton workers is ‘our first commitment’

Nestle’s UK and Ireland CEO Stefano Agostini says improving on the safety of Buxton people working at its Waterswallows plant is its ‘first commitment’ beyond Covid-19.

Describing Buxton as ‘close to his heart’ Mr Agostini said changes brought about by the pandemic to improve hygiene at the bottling plant would leave a ‘lasting legacy’.

Speaking about the measures - including daily temperature checks for workers - the CEO told how the company would retain all of the new procedures to ensure a ‘cleaner and safer environment’.

During the height of the pandemic the multi-national company shared information from plants in highly-infected countries such as Spain and Italy during daily meetings to find ways of reducing risk in Buxton and other UK factories.

Nestle’s UK and Ireland CEO Stefano Agostini - photo by Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press

However in terms of office workers the Nestle chief said experiencing a different way of working using video conferencing had led to a review of its physical working space.

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Speaking about his own experience he said: “I can work from my computer in a smarter way from home avoiding commuting and costs - I can stay at home.

“Why should I go to the office when I can connect in a different way?

“In the future this will be covered not just by us but by the whole industry and there will be changes.”

Describing Buxton as a ‘beautiful area’, former managing director of the water business from 2004-2007 Mr Agostini said he hoped to keep growing its investment in the town.

Speaking about the new Waterswallows warehouse he described it as a ‘strategic location’.

Though the mostly-automated factory would only bring around 70 new jobs the CEO said it confirmed Nestle’s commitment to Buxton.

Announcing growth of 2.8 per cent over the past year Mr Agostini described how during lockdown Nestle donated more than £4 million of products to food banks and key workers.

As well as donating £1 million to UK charity Community Shop helping 8,000 families this summer, Nestle will give £2 million worth of free products to help hospitality businesses get back on their feet.

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