Nestlé adds new Board members, opens US$67m pet food plant expansion in Australia

SWITZERLAND – Shareholders of Swiss food manufacturing giant Nestlé S.A. have elected Luca Maestri and Chris Leong to the company’s Board of Directors.

Luca Maestri is the Chief Financial Officer at American technology company Apple while Chris Leong serves French energy company Schneider Electric as Chief Marketing Officer.

The two were elected during Nestlé’s recently completed Annual General Meeting that was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chairman and all other members of the Board of Directors were re-elected individually for a term of office until the end of the next Annual General Meeting.

Shareholders also elected the members of the Compensation Committee for a one-year term and also approved the total compensation budgets for Nestlé’s Board of Directors and Executive Board.

During the AGM, Ann M. Veneman retired from the Board after 11 years of highly appreciated service. Kasper Rorsted decided not to stand for re-election.

On behalf of the Board, Chairman Paul Bulcke wholeheartedly thanked Ann M. Veneman and Kasper Rorsted for their valuable contributions.

The annual review and the financial statements were approved, as were the proposed dividend of CHF 2.80 per share and the capital reduction.

The dividend represented an increase of 5 centimes over the previous year, marking 27 consecutive years of dividend growth.

US$67m Aussie pet food expansion

Meanwhile, the Swiss food giant has unveiled a $90 million (US$67 million) upgrade to its Blaney factory to meet the growing demand for wet cat foods in Australia.

Established in late 2014, the wet cat food facility will now include a high-speed manufacturing plant that will produce for premium brands such as Felix, Fancy Feast, Pro Plan and Purina One.

Nestlé’s Blayney factory manager Charlene De Wit said: “Our expanded facilities will allow us to scale up production of single-serve wet cat food by over 120 per cent as well as the dry cat and dog food we already produce.”

This expansion is set to position Nestlé as a key supplier in the export of both wet and dry pet foods in New Zealand, Thailand and Japan.

The company has also invested more than $200 million (US$149m) in the last 10 years in developing various aspects of the Blaney factory to meet demands.

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