Nestle Considering Exiting McCloud Watering Bottling Plant Deal

We knew that Nestle Waters of North America’s just-announced water bottling plant in Sacramento, CA, might have an impact on their long-delayed McCloud bottling plant.

From the Mount Shasta Herald:

“In four to six weeks, we will let McCloud know if we will continue with our McCloud plans,” company representative Dave Palais said Monday night, noting that a recent article incorrectly stated that the company would be dropping its McCloud proposal.

Speaking during Monday night’s McCloud Community Services District meeting, Palais told the board that the company would be looking closely at how the Sacramento facility would impact their regional market and ultimately affect their plans to pursue a McCloud water bottling facility. He cited numerous issues as factors that will be explored, including the current lackluster economy and transportation costs.

The timing is more than interesting – announcing they’d be “looking closely” at the effect their own plant will have on another proposed plant seems… well, dumb.

One would assume a mutlinational the size of Nestle would have already have considered the impacts of another plant (I believe the same project manager was responsible for both).

Do we interpret Nestle’s operative’s statement (““In four to six weeks, we will let McCloud know if we will continue with our McCloud plans,”) as “we’re giving you a few weeks to come crawling to us with the deal we want, or we’re leaving”?

Perhaps.

Nestle has used exactly these negotiating tactics with other small towns in other places.

Another subcontext is worth exploring. First Nestle’s bottled water market is shrinking as outlined in this Huffington Post article by Lisa Boyle.

(Amusing note about the HuffPo story – IBWA spokesman Tom Lauria pops up in the comments section (page 2), mouths the bottled water industry line, but never discloses the fact that he’s being paid to shill. Nice work from the man who fronted the Tobacco Institute for nearly a decade.)

Nestle maintains the market will return when the economy does, but that’s guesswork at best, and if it doesn’t, what happens to all the jobs Nestle has promised to rural towns?

Are those towns – many already suffering from the loss of mill/timber jobs – about to experience a second “hard landing” when an industry leaves?

Perhaps it’s time that small communities started focusing on sustainable economic growth solutions instead of looking to heartless corporations in declining to solve their problems.

via Nestlé says it’s reconsidering pursuit of McCloud facility – Mount Shasta, CA – Mount Shasta Herald.

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