By Emil Jurado, TO THE POINT, Manila Standard Today, 19 May 2011
(Original article available online here)
"I recently came across published reports about a product recall being done by Nestle Philippines Inc.
I know that Nestle has recalled many of its products for various reasons—the most noteworthy being 100g glass jars of Nescafe. In this case of contaminated coffee, people were instructed to keep the lids as proof of purchase for a refund, but to “dispose of contents immediately and not to bring the coffee back to the stores where they were bought.”
A variant of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners were recalled as well when consumers reported finding pieces of hard plastic in their food.
Locally, the most recently was the recall of Maggi beef and chicken noodles after traces of salmonella were found in two batches of the beef variant.
Having to take these items off the shelves is just one of the many problems besetting NPI. I believe that the string of cases against the company regarding its dealings with its local partners is, or should be, a major concern. My gulay, it seems that the multinational has made it a habit to squeeze distributors to the point that doing business is no longer profitable. Then, when cases are filed against the company on that very same issue, it tries to squeeze itself out of legal proceedings.
I have written at length about a Filipino company that distributes Nestle products and has been on the receiving end of the multinational’s bullying tactics. Nestle created price caps for its goods and simultaneously shortened the time of payment collection for distributed products. The local company took issue with that and filed formal complaints with the Trade and Industry Department as well as with the Regional Trial Court. This has caught the attention of some lawmakers, who are now working on strengthening anti-trust measures.
In the meantime, Nestle seems to be taking matters in stride as it even failed to give a rejoinder to the Filipino distributor’s claims within 15 days as it was ordered by the court. Santa Banana, is this company that confident about its position, or connections, that it can afford to be complacent?
All these developments come on the heels of news that Nandu Nandkishore is to be promoted Executive Vice President for Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East. Nandkishore was CEO of NPI, who was promptly shipped to the mother company to assume another position when the cases were filed by the Filipino distributor. With his new designation, I presume he is ready to finally face the music."