Nestle Gympie new 35 metre tower Richard Jones Factory Manager.
Nestle Gympie new 35 metre tower Richard Jones Factory Manager. Renee Albrecht

Nestle responds to report it plans to close Gympie factory

REPORTS that Gympie's multi-million dollar Nestlé's factory was closing were categorically rejected this evening by Nestle.

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The 59-year-old factory in Pine St employs hundreds of Gympie workers and has produced Blend 43 coffee for the international business for the past 21 years.

Spokesman Margaret Stuart said the Gympie factory had recently invited employees to express an interest in voluntary redundancy, and as a result, 17 roles will be made redundant from the factory later in the year.

 

An estimated 800 people witnessed the official opening of Nestlé's Gympie in November 1955.
An estimated 800 people witnessed the official opening of Nestlé's Gympie in November 1955. Contributed

"It's important that we ensure that the Nestlé Gympie factory runs efficiently and remains competitive, particularly since an Australian maker of instant coffee, we compete against imported products," Ms Stuart said.

"For this reason, we constantly look for more efficient and effective ways to run our operations.

 

Nestle lift: Structures being added to Nestle factory in Gympie.
Nestle lift: Structures being added to Nestle factory in Gympie ealier this year. Jacob Carson

"All affected staff will be given generous redundancy packages and are being offered access to transition support. In addition to discussing these proposed changes with our staff, we have also discussed the process with the union."

Gympie's Nestle Factory recently introduced a new $10 million upgrade in the form of a 35-metre tower.

 

Nestle Gympie new 35 metre tower Richard Jones Factory Manager and Maran Arumuga Project Manager.
Nestle Gympie's new 35 metre tower - Richard Jones Factory Manager and Maran Arumuga Project Manager. Renee Albrecht

The tower, designed to enhance product quality by capturing the aroma released after Nescafe Blend 43 coffee beans are roasted, brings total investments in the 59-year-old factory to a figure of $20 million in the last five years.

Nestle recently invested in a new $10 million tower as part of a move towards increased sustainability at the Gympie factory.

Recently the company spilled the beans and went green, making the factory one of the only sustainable instant coffee producers in the country.

 

Darryl Swan holding up the can of blend 43 produced from Gympie's Nestle headquarters.
Darryl Swan holding up the can of blend 43 produced from Gympie's Nestle headquarters. Philippe Coquerand

Engineer Darryl Swan said the company had made a huge difference to its impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"We use 100 per cent of spent coffee grounds, in conjunction with sawdust, as boiler fuel which in turn equates to both energy savings of more than 110,000 gigajoules in 2017 and ensuring that no spent coffee grounds go to landfill," Mr Swan said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian household uses 141 gigajoules of energy a year.

 

Darryl Swan and Michael Purvis with their Nestle Blend 43 product.
Darryl Swan and Michael Purvis with their Nestle Blend 43 product. Philippe Coquerand

The company aims to stop sending waste to landfill by 2020.

"Nestle is committed to reducing its impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using resources efficiently, reducing total water consumption across our factories and sites, and achieving zero waste to landfill from our operations by 2020," Mr Swan said.

Engineering manager Mick Purvis said both the sawdust and spent coffee beans were vital to fuel 68 per cent of the factory's energy needs, and to "support our commitment to sustainable and renewable manufacturing practices."