Tag Archives: nestle in mccloud

Can Cascade Locks, Sacramento Trust Nestle’s Job Projections?

Nestle’s announcement that it was leaving McCloud wasn’t wholly unexpected, but in many ways, it’s still difficult to entirely believe the project is dead.

Nestle has chosen to continue its belated flow studies, and the MCSD was choosing a water committee to study the issue (some charge the committee was being stacked with pro-Nestle members).

And while it’s tempting to credit Nestle’s egress entirely to local activists (Concerned Citizens, McCloud Watershed Council, Protect Our Waters and CalTrout chief among them), the market clearly played a strong hand.

After all, Nestle’s bottled water revenues were down 3% the first half of this year, and it’s clear their “premium” spring water brands took a much bigger hit in favor of their tap-water derived, less-expensive Pure Life brand.

With fuel costs running far higher than when the McCloud project was first conceived, and demand shifting to the “value” priced segment of the market, Nestle’s relocation to Sacramento makes a certain sense – as does their interest in building more, smaller plants.

Which raises the obvious question; had Nestle’s original (and astonishingly lopsided) contract with the MCSD been allowed to stand as negotiated, how many of Nestle’s promised jobs would still be extant in the town of McCloud?

On StopNestleWaters.org, we’ve long questioned Nestle’s promises of jobs to communities; the only real data we’ve seen published suggests the promises aren’t always real.

Nestle may not want to admit it, but they can’t have it both ways; if market conditions truly forced the move to a smaller, differently configured production facility in Sacramento, then it’s not hard to extrapolate to a present where McCloud would have been repayed for its water with an even fewer jobs than promised (many of those jobs of the sub-living wage variety).

It’s entirely likely a Nestle factory in McCloud would be running at a fraction of its built-out capacity – and McCloud would be experiencing yet another resource-extraction related economic bust.

Should the bottled water market continue to nosedive, what of the jobs Nestle dangles in front of other communities?

After all, Cascade Locks seems to believe the jobs provided by the company will save their town – and Sacramento seems willing to give up unlimited municipal water in return for only 40-60 jobs.

But what if those jobs are illusory, especially after three more years of a declining bottled water market?

FLASH: Nestlé Waters Ends Bid for McCloud, CA Water Bottling Plant

When the end came, it came swiftly for Nestle’s proposed McCloud (CA) water bottling plant:

Nestlé Waters North America has decided to withdraw its proposal to build a bottling facility in McCloud.

Ever since Nestle negotiated its rapacious contract with the McCloud Services District in 2003 (largely behind closed doors), then pressured the board to approve it at the end of the first public input meeting, Nestle’s McCloud project has become one of the company’s biggest public relations liabilities.

First there were the string of lawsuits, and as the specifics of the contract came to light, outright indignation at the lopsided nature of the deal.

Here was a predatory multinational preying on a small rural town – as it had in other locations – but this time, not all the local residents were willing to shrug it off and walk away.

Instead, they rallied, formed groups, gained a small amount of financial backing, garnered a significant amount of international media attention, and ultimately forced Nestle to abandon its hugely one-sided contract.

Instead, in 2008, Nestle began the flow monitoring studies it should have begun in 2003, but the process was made redundant when Nestle negotiated a fast-track deal in Sacramento that better reflected the realities of rising fuel costs and pissed-off, distrustful McCloud residents.

Unfortunately for Nestle, the damage was already done to their normally behind-the-scenes work in rural areas; now almost every Nestle extraction or bottling project finds itself opposed by citizens who have learned what Nestle’s truly capable due to their actions in McCloud, Fryeburg, Mecosta, and others.

And yes – due to activists and the informational power of the Internet – Nestle’s been forced to address questions about its predatory behavior in rural areas.

Whether Nestle has turned over a less-predatory leaf in its pursuit of spring water from rural sources remains to be seen, and yes – significant questions about the environmental impacts and privatization of a critical resource are far from answered.

Still, in this one place – in this tiny mountain town – Nestle stumbled badly, tripped up by a small group whose victory will no doubt be noticed by others facing Nestle in their area.

via Nestlé Waters ends pursuit of McCloud facility – Mount Shasta, CA – Mount Shasta Herald.

Television Show Highlights McCloud River, Nestle’s Threat To It in Advance of 2/18 Meeting

The Friday night broadcast of Trout Unlimited’s “On The Rise” episode focusing on the McCloud River – and Nestle’s cavalier approach to the river and the town of McCloud – has already generated a spike in traffic to StopNestleWaters.org. (The show is being re-broadcast Saturday 2/14 at 1pm PST)

More importantly, it exposed yet another layer of people to the problems inherent in bottled water – and to the somewhat predatory nature of Nestle Waters of North America.

Curtis Knight of CalTrout deftly outlined the threats to the river, and while it’s a fly fishing show – so he only had time to hit the high points – the information was passed along to an audience that I’ve heard numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

It’s more pressure on Nestle to start playing fair with rural towns, and while this is another small victory, it’s a shame that every town facing Nestle can’t get its own TV show.

I’d love to see Nestle’s depredations in Fryeburg detailed so all the little rural towns thinking of making a deal with Nestle will know what can happen if the predatory multinational doesn’t get what it wants.

In Advance of Nestle’s February 18 Meeting

The timing of the broadcast was excellent; it comes in advance of Nestle’s community input meeting of February 18, where Nestle make yet another corporate sales pitch presentation about their proposed McCloud project, and invites “community input.”

Keep up the good work, everyone.