(IsraelNN.com) The Arab League’s boycott office, headquartered in Syria has threatened to launch a boycott of Nestle because the corporation owns 53% of Osem, a leading manufacturer of processed food in Israel.
Nestle said it wound not be swayed by the boycott threat to give up its business interests in Israel, explaining the decision would likely “be ignored by most Arab League member states.”
The company’s response, reported in Globes, cites its business activity in "Palestine" as demonstrating its "respect" for "diversity." Nestle's statement is reproduced here:
“Nestle is regularly attacked by various Arab and Islamic circles for doing business in Israel. In the latest such moves[sic], on 4 July 2006, the Damascus-based Arab League Central Boycott Office (CBO) added Nestle to the list of companies to be boycotted because of links with Israel, although it seems likely that the decision will be ignored by most Arab League member states.
"Herewith the corporate response: In Muslim countries throughout the world, Nestle employs around 23,000 people in 51 factories and 151 sales and distribution offices. With a total turnover of Swiss franc 3.3 billion and investments of more than one billion over time, Nestle contributes significantly to the prosperity and well-being of the general population in those countries.
“Nestle is a truly global company which operates in almost all countries in the world. The company employs some 253,000 people from over 100 countries and of many creeds. Nestle has consistently emphasized the importance of mutual respect and tolerance, regardless of culture, religion or nationality. This a core company value as expressed in the Nestle Corporate Business Principles.
“Nestle's investment decisions are made purely on the basis of commercial and industrial viability. Political considerations have no influence whatever on such decisions. Nestle has made industrial investments in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Palestine, as well as Saudi Arabia, United Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, among many other countries in the world. This demonstrates the company's respect for cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. In each of these countries, Nestle serves the needs of its consumers as well as the interests of its local staff.”