A new social programme which aims to help small commercial businesses following the Chile earthquake is launched by Nestlé Chile.
A FRESH START: Shopkeepers Alberto, left, and Clorinda, right, take ownership of their new store.
The “Rebuild your little store with Nestlé” initiative aims to help business owners recover their labour sources after the impact of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in February that affected the south and centre of Chile.
The programme kicked off at Villa Prat, a rural town located 230 km south of Santiago, where the first – out of 30 new little stores set to reach other affected areas in the regions of Maule and Bio Bio – was delivered to Alberto Gaete and his wife, Clorinda.
Mr Gaete said: "It’s the starting point after we lost everything. This is unconditional support from Nestlé, who only ask us to use our best efforts to get ahead."
The programme includes the construction of a 3 x 2.5 m2 facility and the initial stock donation of Nestlé products; including dairy, infant nutrition, coffee, confectionery, breakfast cereals and powdered beverages. The only condition set to Nestlé’s partners is to sell the products at affordable prices that benefit the community as well as their own business.
In marking the occasion, an official ceremony was hosted by Fernando del Solar, Market Head for Nestlé Chile, who was joined by Rodrigo Galilea, the main regional authority and Francisco Meléndez, Mayor of Sagrada Familia and Villa Prat. They were also joined by Rafael Cumsille, National President of the Confederation of Retail Trade and Tourism of Chile, the community of Villa Prat and Nestlé employees.
Mr del Solar said: "This reflects the company’s efforts to encourage economic activity in this region, through this support given to our commercial partners. Here at Villa Prat, we have pioneered this initiative that will give our shopkeepers the tools to make their activities sustainable in the long term, in a joint effort with us. And this is what we call "Creating Shared Value."
Nestlé Chile also assisted communities by donating USD 500,000 in products including milk, biscuits and breakfast cereals to the earthquake zone. In addition, Nestlé Chile donated USD 1.3 million to a TV campaign “Chile ayuda a Chile”, set up to raise money to build 60,000 houses. Local employees donated an additional USD 120,000 to the TV campaign.