Nestle’s treatment of rural communities won’t qualify them for any “good neighbor” awards anytime soon – a sad fact chronicled in a new Food & Water Watch report on water extraction activities in North America.
From their site:
Food & Water Watch’s report, “All Bottled Up: Nestlé’s Pursuit of Community Water,” reveals the loss communities experience when a plant shows up in a small town.
Bottled water is overpriced, it’s no purer or safer than tap water, Nestlé is profiting off of communities and their precious resource — groundwater, and water bottles end up — by the millions — as worthless trash.
Did you know that…
Nestle takes the groundwater for next to nothing and makes extraordinary profits from the community’s loss? Communities are taking on the food giant — AND WINNING. Empty Nestlé bottles are piling up in landfills? Communities are getting smart about Nestlé and passing legislation to stop harmful water extraction from their towns?
Food & Water Watch and activists favor the efforts of policymakers to…
Develop comprehensive groundwater protection and conservation laws and regulation, require labels about the sources of bottled water and contaminants, adress environmental harm from producing bottled water and disposal of empty bottles, and assist residents and communities in protecting their groundwater from Nestlé.
Read more at: All Bottled Up: Nestlé’s Pursuit of Community Water — Food & Water Watch.
Developing new water sources for the Nestle/Poland Spring bottling operation is getting harder for the Swiss multinational, especially among the rural towns which used to be their primary target.
The selectman in Wells, Maine, have approved a water extraction moratorium for placement on the November ballot,
Resident Joe Hardy, one of the group that proposed the moratorium, said
Rachin’s changes were excellent, but disputed the notion that
extraction was adequately prohibited in town. “It allows the KKW to go
on but excludes a large outside entity like Poland Spring or Nestle,”
he said. “It’s not a permitted use but it’s not prohibited either. The
threat is very real, given the closeness with which we almost had the
contract with Nestle.”
Formerly, Nestle/Poland Spring (a venerable Maine brand bought by Nestle) encountered little opposition when trying to extract water from small, rural towns.
Things have changed dramatically in recent years, and towns are no longer so eager to give up their precious bottled water resources for a fraction of a penny per gallon and a handful of sub-living-wage jobs.
Several towns in Maine and Washington have sent Nestle packing, or – in the case of McCloud, CA – opposition to Nestle’s sweetheart deal (negotiated in secret) forced an abandonment of the original contract.
With Nestle being confronted by informed townspeople – connected to others via the Internet – will they finally have to offer towns a good deal in exchange for their water?