Four months after the health scandal of bacterially contaminated buitoni pizza began E. coliChristophe Corneau, CEO of Nestle France, owner of France’s leading pizza brand, has decided to speak out. In an interview Figaro, This Monday, July 11, the leader apologized to the families of the victims and announced the formation of a relief fund for the victims.
“Nestl আছে has been in France for more than 150 years. We have never felt such a crisis,” Christophe Corneau explained. In the four-year office of the head of the agri-food giant, the CEO repents wanting to do a job. “More than a crisis, it’s a humanitarian drama, where families and children are affected, [et] I want to express my deepest sympathy and apologize today, ”he said.
The leader lamented the lack of communication from Nestl ফ্র France during the crisis, a silence that families misunderstood. “If this silence can hurt, I’m sorry about it,” he said before explaining the reasons why Nestl সী limited its announcements during the crisis: “We were aware of the seriousness of the incident from the beginning. But I wanted to talk about the first element of the investigation.” The Nestl কর্ম staff in France and I are particularly disturbed by what has happened to the family. We want to answer to these families, we hate their transparency and truth. ” The leader further confirmed that “Nestle will take all its responsibilities”.
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No guesses are omitted for the moment
Christoph Corneau continued to provide details about the progress of the investigation within the group. “While we are not blowing up any speculation at this stage about the origin of the bacterium, we are currently deeply investigating the flour used in the ‘french’ up ‘line,” he said before referring to the manager. I don’t have all the answers yet. “
Yet he denies any deliberate negligence or attempt to save money by lowering the standard of health care within the group’s production unit: “We have never compromised on this. Our maintenance budget has not been reduced in any way in recent years. […]We are confident in the quality control of our factory in France. “
Extremely complex to implement, these analyzes should not reveal their findings for weeks at a time when victims are requesting a quick explanation. “I can’t promise a deadline for the investigation, but I promise to answer all as soon as we know more.” Yet reassures the leader who claims to share the urgent feelings of the bereaved family. “I also want to get a quick response, […] I want to understand what happened between 2021 and 2022 to reach this abnormal health situation, ”he said.
Concerning the restart of the Caudry factory from which the guilty pizza came out, “the french’up line will not be reopened until all the light on the origin of the bacteria has been shed”, Christophe Corneau points out. “For other lines, especially those that make Four Pierre pizza and which have never been affected by the recall, it is difficult to imagine reopening it before November 2022. We are working with the authorities on a protocol to reopen the factory.” The prefectural decree will answer all the questions raised “, the manager promised.
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An assistance fund for affected families
Christoph Corneau also confirmed that the group is going to engage with victims without waiting for the results of its internal investigation. “We have decided to create a relief fund for the victims,” the manager announced, although Nestl না did not disclose how much it would contribute.
The CEO of Nestlé nevertheless stated the terms of the aid fund: “It will not in any way replace compensation that may be a fair decision. Set up on September 1, it will be run by a trusted third party, an association in which we are. This will help bring relief to the bereaved families, who may also face financial difficulties outside of hardship, such as declining incomes. “
The leader is aware of the fact that it will take several years to remove the signs of crisis. Buitoni’s sales have dropped 30% since the scandal broke, and the group’s market share has dropped from 30 to 7%.
Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. “We have chosen to keep the Buitoni brand, even if we know that after a crisis of this magnitude, it will take a long time to regain confidence with our consumers,” Christophe Corneau assured. “It will be a critical time, we need to prove that we are worthy of this trust, to be reassuring, to show transparency,” he added.
As a reminder, two children died after eating pizza from the “Fraîch’Up” range, contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Many other children get sick and some still have sequelae like kidney failure. On April 23, about fifty parents decided to file a complaint against the brand so that “no child goes to the hospital for pizza”. A total of more than 50 cases have been identified in the country.
Buitoni, Kinder … “In 50 years, the number of health scandals has dropped dramatically.”
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