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The Dairy Board of Zimbabwe today informed the Gushungo Dairy Estate and the 7 other farms with whom Nestlé Zimbabwe began working on a temporary basis in February 2009, that it is now in a position to resume purchasing their milk. Nestlé Zimbabwe therefore will no longer be receiving milk from these 8 farms from Sunday 4 October 2009.
In February 2009 the food and economic crisis in Zimbabwe reached a level where the dairy industry was at real risk of collapse, and the Dairy Board was no longer able to buy milk from these 8 farms. In light of our long-term commitment to Zimbabwe, we bought this milk on a temporary basis. This helped prevent a further deterioration in food supplies in Zimbabwe at that time.
Nestlé has been in Zimbabwe for 50 years, working with the population of Zimbabwe and striving to maintain a long-term viable operation in often challenging conditions. We operate in Zimbabwe, as we do in every country, through good times and bad. We work for the long-term, in a way which has positive impact on our consumers, employees and suppliers.
In light of the recent controversy surrounding our relationship with the Gushungo Dairy Estate, we believe that this announcement reflects our long-term commitment to Zimbabwe while acknowledging the specific circumstances around these events.