Yana Mikhailova, Head at Nestlé SE

Responsible Company for a Healthier Serbia

Year after year, Nestlé shows its commitment to business operations in Serbia and its contribution to the development of local communities. Since 2011, when operations were launched at the Surčin factory, the company has invested more than 15 million euros in equipment procurement, increasing capacities and product development

Yana Mikhailova, Market Head – Nestlé South East Market

Enabling healthier and happier lives for people and their families is definitely our main goal. As the leader in the food & beverages industry, with the best experts from the fields of nutrition and food safety, Nestlé constantly offers the best choices for healthy and balanced nutrition.

Nestlé’s vision is to improve our lives with science-based nutrition and healthy solutions. Ms Mikhailova, tell us more about your “Good food, good life” mission.

– Achieving balanced nutrition continues to be a growing global challenge. This is a burning topic nowadays, especially given the knowledge that obesity has nearly tripled worldwide since 1975. 

Food has a major impact on our lives and that’s why it is our job – as the world’s largest food and beverage company, with over a billion units sold each day – to produce safe, high quality and tasty food. We are not only producing, but rather we also believe that an understanding of how to eat well is very important, and so we see it as our responsibility to educate people on how to have a good balance in their nutrition.

Good habits start in childhood, so in Serbia, we developed the ‘Zdravo Rastimo’ [Nestlé for Healthier Kids] programme, the primary goal of which is to educate primary school pupils on the importance of proper nutrition and physical activity. This is a good example of how our company, in cooperation with public authorities, has created an enduring value for society, and this is something in which Nestlé invests all over the world.

Since the beginning of the initiative in the Adriatic region, eight years ago, almost 70,000 schoolchildren have participated. Globally, through the Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative, we have committed to helping fifty million children live a healthier life by 2030.

Nestlé, as a multinational company based in Switzerland, has a sustainable development programme focused on individuals, families and local communities, but also the entire planet. Tell us more about this.

– Switzerland is the number one country when it comes to innovation, according to the index of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. I would say that this is not only about production, but also about all additional assets that a company can contribute to society. Besides nutrition, our vision extends much further. The drive to employ workers under the age of 30 is a very important initiative launched by Nestlé, with which we are helping young people to secure their first job and simultaneously recruiting future leaders.

Nestlé cherishes one whole life cycle: from healthy people, through a good life, to a healthy environment

Within this initiative, the special ‘Alliance for YOUth’ project has been launched, and our company committed itself to provide 230,000 job opportunities and professional work placement practises in Europe by 2020. Diversity and inclusivity are also integral to Nestlé’s culture, and since 2011 we have increased the number of women in leadership positions to 43 per cent.

Last but not least, we have set commitments and objectives to use and manage resources sustainably by operating more efficiently, responding to climate change, reducing food loss and waste, and caring for the water. Our ambition is to strive for our operations to have zero environmental impact.

Nestlé is among the most responsible companies socially. Tell us more about this.

– The power of food and its impact on our health is crucial. Being a leader in the food industry, therefore, carries within an obligation to explain to consumers how nutrition impacts on the body and what is meant by the comprehensive information on ingredients contained in the packaging of our products.

Besides that, we also produce in a sustainable way – for example, we strive to reach a level of zero waste disposal by 2020. We’ve already reduced factory waste in Surčin by 80 per cent since the acquisition, and have so far invested 1.2 million euros in renovating and developing the factory alone, in order to accomplish our goals of reducing the environmental impact.

We’ve saved 50,000 cubic metres of water and reduced the amount of electricity consumed at this plant by 19.5%, while the use of paper was reduced by 61 tonnes in just one year and the use of plastic was also reduced by six tonnes