Tag Archives: sacramento

More Reaction to Nestle’s Sacramento Water Bottling Plant (Hint: It’s Not Pretty)

Cosmo Garvin of the Sacramento News & Review has been monitoring the Nestle water bottling issue in McCloud, and – given the company’s track record elsewhere – didn’t exactly extend the welcome mat to the news that Nestle’s building a water bottling plant in Sacramento.

Here are a few choice breaks from his article:

And what an international company it is!

Nestlé has a track record of pissing people off wherever it chooses to stick its great big water-sucking straw. For years the company was involved in a nasty fight 230 miles north of here, in McCloud, Calif., where residents worried the company would suck their aquifer dry for a fraction of a cent per gallon. And Nestlé has been heavily criticized for privatizing water supplies in the developing world.

What do we get? Forty jobs and $14 million invested in the new plant. And why wouldn’t Nestlé think Sacramento is desirable? After all, they’re going to buy our tap water for cheap and sell it back to us in plastic bottles for 1,000 times what they paid for it. Why wouldn’t they love us?

The company is going to bottle about 150 acre-feet of water every year at its south Sac “microfactory.” If you’re not sure how much an acre-foot is, imagine a high-school football field in Natomas, under a foot of water. Some of that water will be trucked in from springs in the Sierra foothills, to be bottled and sold under the Arrowhead brand. But most of it, about 90 acre-feet, or 30 million gallons, will be bottled and sold under Nestlé’s Pure Life brand.

Nestlé will pay the city’s industrial rates for water: $.9854 for every 748 gallons, according to Kemp. Down at the local Safeway, a 24-pack of half-liter bottles of their water-flavored water fetches $3.99. That works out to about $38 million paid by consumers for about $37,000 worth of tap water, with some packaging, shipping and press releases thrown in.

Nestle is encountering stiff opposition in almost every new water bottling and extraction venue it’s in right now (witness the unexpectedly fierce opposition they encountered in Chaffee County, which discovered Nestle was offering up wholly misleading economic analysis alongside its permit).

Are they now due for a beating in Sacramento? Does this signal a retrenchment from the company regarding its rural bottling activities?

via SN&R > Columns > Bites > Something in the water > 07.30.09.

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.