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Nestlé to move chocolate research from Switzerland to UK

Swiss Economics Minister Doris Leuthard (left) and Nestlé Director General Petraea Heynike

Swiss Economics Minister Doris Leuthard (left) and Nestlé Director General Petraea Heynike at the inauguration of the Chocolate Centre of Excellence at Broc in 2009 (Keystone) - Click to enlarge

The Swiss food giant Nestlé is transfering its chocolate research centre from Broc in canton Fribourg to York in the north of England. Some 25 jobs are affected but the existing chocolate factory in the Swiss town is not threatened.

On Thursday, a Nestlé spokesperson confirmed a report by the 24Heures and Tribune de Genève newspapers that 25 employees would be offered jobs either in York, Broc, or elsewhere in the group as part of the change.

The decision to move the chocolate research centre from Broc to York is designed to “improve the speed and agility of global innovation”, Nestlé said. This decision is part of a vast restructuring exercise that was launched last autumn.

The Broc research centre was inaugurated in 2009 at a cost of CHF25 million. Nestlé now plans to set up a technical unit at this location to support chocolate-related activities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, employing a team of 15 people.

On Thursday, Nestlé said it planned to shake up its 14-member board by nominating three new independent directors, seven months after activist investor Dan Loeb, criticised the Swiss group as being “stuck in its old ways.”

Full story here
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