As Nestlé Romania recently announced its strong commitment towards sustainability and also reported the half-year results for 2022, Business Review paid a visit at the company’s headquarters in Northern Bucharest for a follow-up triple interview with Silvia Sticlea (Country Manager), Irina Siminenco (Corporate Affairs Manager) and Nicoleta Tupita (Nutritionist), to talk about Nestlé’s mission in Romania to provide the highest quality products and bring added value on the side of educational projects and programs.
Business Review: Nestle recently announced the H1 2022 results, but what can you tell us about the results in Romania?
Silvia Sticlea: Nestlé Romania finished H1 2022 with an increase of 12.6%, the most significant growth in the entire south-eastern area of which we are part. Nestlé Romania had an increase in 7 out of the 10 product categories it has in Romania. Excellent performance with double-digit growth to 7 out of 10 categories. Strong results on coffee, Infant Nutrition, Purina, Breakfast cereals, Nestlé Health Science and Nespresso.
BR: What are the most important pillars on which Nestle Romania is building on for the future?
Silvia Sticlea: Our strategy is designed on medium and long term, we already have plans for the next 5-10 years and we want to double our footprint in Romania. The evolution will be linked to new launches, to recipes always improved, to a healthy business and modus operandi, made in accordance with market demands and with a lot of respect for the environment. The context of the last 2 years has shown us that anything can always change, that is why we continue to rely on two important pillars – the agility and adaptability of the business, in order to be prepared for any situation, to regroup and deliver in time the products that Romanians are so used to.
We want to continue the growth of the business at the same sustained pace as before, to become number 1 in the perception of consumers and customers at the level of trust in the Nestlé brand, to continue to develop and strengthen the team around Nestlé values and principles by expanding it and through refresher courses, becoming even more united and stronger together.
BR: What are Nestle Romania’s plans and objectives on the short term (H2 2022) and long term?
Silvia Sticlea: For this year we want to continue to grow at the same pace we had in the first half of the year, to bring healthy products to the market and in the second part of the year to continue the CSR projects that we have already started, ending the year with a new tree planting campaign. For 2023 the plan is to continue investing in the development of the portfolio with sustainable products.
BR: What are the most important sustainability, community involvement, health & wellness projects that you have implemented at Nestle in the past year and what are your future plans and projects in these areas?
Irina Siminenco: Nestlé for a Waste Free World Initiative brings together all the actions the company aims to have, by 2030, to have net zero environmental impact in all its operations.
This year our national promotion campaign (A Greener Future) was related to a social cause, planting trees and we were glad to have 20,000 registrations, which will materialize in 20,000 seedlings that we will plant together with Mai Mult Verde Association; which proves that Romanians are concerned and pay attention to companies that get involved in community projects.
We have been running for more than 12 years various educational projects in schools, projects that help change the behavior of generations to come. We have projects on healthy nutrition, such as „I live healthy, too! – SETS”, „Traista cu sănătate”, on sustainability projects like – PACT – The Blue Plant Counts on You, I Love Water, the Nespresso Capsule Recycling Program, and for pets we have PURINA Pet School.
Regeneration – more than sustainability, what Nestle does on the journey to regeneration
We start from the premise that the current food system needs support, in order to be able to meet the nutritional needs of a growing population. That is why we look at the systems on which we all depend and we make our contribution to the restoration or regeneration of their resources, contributing equally to their ability to regenerate, renew or restore more efficiently. A simple example to understand this direction is given by regenerative agriculture or sustainable supply projects, supporting our partners, the farmers.
BR: What are Nestle’s commitments and objectives on sustainability at global level?
Irina Siminenco: Climate change is affected by human interventions on the environment, so Nestlé’s objective is to play an active role in the development of collection, sorting and recycling systems by producing 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025.
Nestlé’s goal is to halve GHG emissions by 2030, to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Net zero emissions mean drastically reducing GHG emissions along the entire food chain, Farm-to-fork, along with the implementation of carbon dioxide storage projects in the soil and through tree plantings. To offset the amount of greenhouse gases up to net-zero emissions, the company has pledged to plant at least 20 million trees each year by 2030.
More than two-thirds of Nestlé’s emissions come from the production of agricultural ingredients it uses. The company obtains these ingredients from 500,000 farms it works with directly and another 4.5 million farms involved through suppliers around the world. To combat agricultural emissions, Nestlé will transform together with its partners the way food is produced. To combat agricultural emissions, Nestlé will transform together with its partners the way food is produced. Intensive farming practices will be transformed into regenerative agriculture, for the benefit of nature and in order to ensure a decent income for farmers. Particular attention is paid to supporting the younger generation working in agriculture.
Cocoa and coffee are two key ingredients that Nestlé uses in many of its products in the region. By 2025, 100% of Nestlé’s cocoa and coffee will be sustainably produced.
By 2025, Nestlé will use 100% green electricity in all 800 international factories and offices. Already over 80 factories out of the 129 in the EMENA area use exclusively green energy.
Consumers are increasingly interested and demand sustainable, healthy, environmentally friendly products. That’s why we have a vast supply of plant-based foods. Some of our top brands will soon have a carbon neutral footprint: Garden Gourmet, S.Pellegrino, Perrier, Acqua Panna, Vittel, Nespresso, all by the end of 2022.
BR: What can you tell us about your employee benefit & wellness programs?
Nicoleta Tupita: Health and safety are main priorities when it comes to Nestlé employees. We offer nutritional consultations for free as part of our healthcare offer. We benefit from a very broad health care subcription covering majority of health issues and regular check-ups. During the pandemic, we organized internal webinars on different nutrition topics with internal and external experts. Before the pandemic, we oraganized events like running races. There are also discounts to sports, wellness, spa centers for Nestlé employees. In addition, the flexible working is contributing to work-life balanced, we can work 50% from home and 50% from the office and each of us can split and adapt it to its needs.