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Nestle says factories will stay open despite Ebola fears

Staff writer ▼ | October 24, 2014
Nestle, the world's largest food company, has said it will not shut any of its factories in West Africa even if Ebola spreads to the countries where they are located.
Nestle chocolate
Good news   Chocolate maker will not shut factories
Nestle has eight factories in cocoa and coffee-rich West and Central Africa, most of them sited in Ghana and Ivory Coast which shares borders with Guinea and Liberia where about 4000 have died of the deadly virus.

In August Barry Callebaut cancelled plans to hold its Annual Manager's Conference in Ivory Coast, while a much talked about World Cashew Festival and Expo was cancelled in Ghana, due to the fear of the virus.

Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke said in an interview with Reuters that the company had no plans to close any of its refineries or curb output in the region, even as he added that in the event such spread of the virus, the company would only adapt. "We're not there yet. I hope we never get there. Whatever happens, we're going to have to adjust."

The company is yet to suffer any supply or transport disruptions due to the Ebola in nearby countries although cocoa have increased on fears the deadly virus could limit supplies. Ivory Coast and Ghana produce 60 percent of the world's cocoa beans. According to Reuters the virus may be spreading towards the Ivory Coast in Liberia and Guinea, including in Guinea's Kankan district on a major trade route with Mali, which saw its first case in the past week.