Nestlé boss tells 1,900 workers the future of factory is secure

York Press: Paul Grimwood Paul Grimwood

A BEACON of hope for York’s economy has been lit by one of the city’s biggest employers which today exclusively revealed that 2009 is set to be a huge success.

That was the message from outgoing boss Paul Grimwood to his 1,900 workers at Nestle after a 2008 which saw £30 million worth of investment flood into the plant.

Today Mr Grimwood revealed the factory had contributed to the UK business winning a huge market share, with York-made KitKat sales soaring by a stunning 20 per cent.

In a message to those who have predicted that the factory will shut, he said: “We simply wouldn’t have invested the amount of money we have invested if there wasn’t a strong future for the business.

“If we remain competitive and flexible, and avoid arrogance and complacency, I can see no reason why the factory won’t still be here in 100 years’ time.”

‘I can’t see why the factory will not be here in 100 years’

YORK’S battered economy received a Boxing Day boost today as the city’s biggest manufacturer pledged it was ready to meet the challenge of tough times ahead.

Outgoing boss Paul Grimwood revealed that Nestlé Confectionery UK’s market share has risen in the past 12 months, with KitKat sales soaring by 20 per cent to make it the country’s fastest-growing top confectionery brand.

He said that as well as a £15 million investment in a new Aero factory, Nestlé had also invested another £15 million in fresh infrastructure across the York factory site, including new boilers, roads, and other equipment.

He dismissed bloggers who have predicted that the factory will be shut within ten years, saying: “We simply wouldn’t have invested the amount of money we have invested if there wasn’t a strong future for the business.

“If we remain competitive and flexible, and avoid arrogance and complacency, I can see no reason why the factory won’t still be here in 100 years time.”

Mr Grimwood said a massive restructuring of the Haxby Road factory, which included 645 redundancies and the loss of some big products such as Smarties, would be completed within another three months.

An extra 80 jobs were created earlier this year, and there are now 1,900 employees on the York site, with an additional 100 people set to work there in a new co-packing plant next year. “We’ve made the changes we needed to make in York to ensure we are fit for the future,” he said “While the outlook for 2009 is challenging for any business, we are in a strong position to face the new economic environment.”

He said the changes had succeeded in their aims of making the factory efficient, competitive and flexible.

“Previously, the business was looking backwards, not forwards, looking internally not externally at our customers,” he said.

“It wasn’t focused. And to say the working practices dated back to the 1950s would be courteous. And it was starting to impact on our market share and profitability.

“For example, three years ago, if a new order came in from, say, the Middle East or Tesco, we would have had to give 26 weeks’ notice of the changes. Now it’s down to a couple of weeks.”

The flexibility meant that neither Nestlé nor the wholesalers needed to build up stocks and risk losing the freshness of the product, and now when customers bought a product such as a KitkKat, it was likely to have been only four weeks since it was made.

He said there had also been a focus on the core brands, and the company had a “Magnificent Seven” key brands – KitKat, Aero, Smarties, the Rowntree fruit pastilles and gums, Milky Bar, Quality Street and After Eight. KitKat had been boosted by the success of the new Senses KitKat aimed at women and of crispier wafers covered in thicker chocolate.

He said market share of the “flat” UK confectionery market was up by 0.5 per cent this year, and for the magnificent seven, the share was up by one per cent. And it now exported to 30 different countries and in larger volumes. He said the recession meant that customers were buying less of the expensive chocolates at the top of the range and more mainstream chocolates, and were also buying multipacks more in a bid to make better use of tight budgets.

New role for Nestlé York chief

YORK-BORN Paul Grimwood departs as managing director of Nestlé Confectionery on New Year’s Eve to become chief executive of Nestlé UK and Ireland.

But he has revealed that he will still spend one day a week at the Haxby Road site in his new role and his family home will remain in the area.

Mr Grimwood, who was educated at Fulford School, arrived at the factory’s helm three years ago, since when he has led a massive re-structuring operation which will be completed by the end of March.

The changes have included 645 redundancies, new terms and conditions for workers, some key brands such as Smarties leaving York for good, new production facilities on the northern, modern end of the site and the end of production in old former Rowntree buildings on the southern end of the site.

Comments (17)

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12:01pm Fri 26 Dec 08

smudge1 says...

QUOTE

Outgoing boss Paul Grimwood with a nice pension and no interest in the company when he leaves.

“If we remain competitive and flexible, and avoid arrogance and complacency, I can see no reason why the factory won’t still be here in 100 years’ time.”

That will be job losses and production being moved abroad then ??


We've heard all this before from these type of firms.

Look after the top bosses and shareholders and don't worry about the workers !!

QUOTE Outgoing boss Paul Grimwood with a nice pension and no interest in the company when he leaves. “If we remain competitive and flexible, and avoid arrogance and complacency, I can see no reason why the factory won’t still be here in 100 years’ time.” That will be job losses and production being moved abroad then ?? We've heard all this before from these type of firms. Look after the top bosses and shareholders and don't worry about the workers !! smudge1

12:32pm Fri 26 Dec 08

bob the builder says...

So it'll be shut by 2010 then! I've had bosses like that who leave sinking ships with positive words, next thing is cutbakcs and redundancy.
So it'll be shut by 2010 then! I've had bosses like that who leave sinking ships with positive words, next thing is cutbakcs and redundancy. bob the builder

1:46pm Fri 26 Dec 08

pandaface says...

...HEAR YEE HEAR YEE HEAR YEE...complacency and arrogance are traits of senior management in big business,it goes with the territory.Whoever heard of management talking down their little empires.
With many big high street stores going down the pan and the general public facing job losses and cut backs in spending,it is inevitable that this company will be hit in the near future.
I am no economist but logic says that when Nestles big customers such as the woolworths group sink there can be no alternative to a serious knock on series of events.
With the Euro now favourable to the ££ economists in Vevey will be advocating massive transfer of business to mainland Europe..
So workers in the UK be AFRAID,BE VERY AFRAID...
Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing.
also this false sense of security..
...HEAR YEE HEAR YEE HEAR YEE...complacency and arrogance are traits of senior management in big business,it goes with the territory.Whoever heard of management talking down their little empires. With many big high street stores going down the pan and the general public facing job losses and cut backs in spending,it is inevitable that this company will be hit in the near future. I am no economist but logic says that when Nestles big customers such as the woolworths group sink there can be no alternative to a serious knock on series of events. With the Euro now favourable to the ££ economists in Vevey will be advocating massive transfer of business to mainland Europe.. So workers in the UK be AFRAID,BE VERY AFRAID... Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. also this false sense of security.. pandaface

3:15pm Fri 26 Dec 08

ernest dickinson says...

test
test ernest dickinson

4:00pm Fri 26 Dec 08

Simonon says...

smudge1 wrote:
QUOTE

Outgoing boss Paul Grimwood with a nice pension and no interest in the company when he leaves.

“If we remain competitive and flexible, and avoid arrogance and complacency, I can see no reason why the factory won’t still be here in 100 years’ time.”

That will be job losses and production being moved abroad then ??


We've heard all this before from these type of firms.

Look after the top bosses and shareholders and don't worry about the workers !!

I agree with smudge1. Never trust people in management at such a senior level.They have usually got there and stay there by lies and deceit and at the expense of the workers livelihood.
Therefore I find Grimwoods public statement very worrying. Mark my words!
[quote][p][bold]smudge1[/bold] wrote: QUOTE Outgoing boss Paul Grimwood with a nice pension and no interest in the company when he leaves. “If we remain competitive and flexible, and avoid arrogance and complacency, I can see no reason why the factory won’t still be here in 100 years’ time.” That will be job losses and production being moved abroad then ?? We've heard all this before from these type of firms. Look after the top bosses and shareholders and don't worry about the workers !! [/p][/quote]I agree with smudge1. Never trust people in management at such a senior level.They have usually got there and stay there by lies and deceit and at the expense of the workers livelihood. Therefore I find Grimwoods public statement very worrying. Mark my words! Simonon

5:33pm Fri 26 Dec 08

pandaface says...

old proverb says.
There are those that are born to lead and those that are born to be led..

I am neither......
Shame there arent more free thinkers on the planet.
old proverb says. There are those that are born to lead and those that are born to be led.. I am neither...... Shame there arent more free thinkers on the planet. pandaface

6:16pm Fri 26 Dec 08

Bobby_M says...

If guaranteeing jobs for a hundred years isn't arrogant then I don't know what is.

This executive can't do that and he knows it.

The only "guarantee" of long-term jobs came from the unique creative spirit at Rowntrees. Once that had been successfully destroyed the factory was, in all probability, doomed.

If guaranteeing jobs for a hundred years isn't arrogant then I don't know what is. This executive can't do that and he knows it. The only "guarantee" of long-term jobs came from the unique creative spirit at Rowntrees. Once that had been successfully destroyed the factory was, in all probability, doomed. Bobby_M

11:49pm Fri 26 Dec 08

mythofthenorth says...

pandaface wrote:
...HEAR YEE HEAR YEE HEAR YEE...complacency and arrogance are traits of senior management in big business,it goes with the territory.Whoever heard of management talking down their little empires.
With many big high street stores going down the pan and the general public facing job losses and cut backs in spending,it is inevitable that this company will be hit in the near future.
I am no economist but logic says that when Nestles big customers such as the woolworths group sink there can be no alternative to a serious knock on series of events.
With the Euro now favourable to the ££ economists in Vevey will be advocating massive transfer of business to mainland Europe..
So workers in the UK be AFRAID,BE VERY AFRAID...
Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing.
also this false sense of security..
....and a Merry Christmas to you too!
[quote][p][bold]pandaface[/bold] wrote: ...HEAR YEE HEAR YEE HEAR YEE...complacency and arrogance are traits of senior management in big business,it goes with the territory.Whoever heard of management talking down their little empires. With many big high street stores going down the pan and the general public facing job losses and cut backs in spending,it is inevitable that this company will be hit in the near future. I am no economist but logic says that when Nestles big customers such as the woolworths group sink there can be no alternative to a serious knock on series of events. With the Euro now favourable to the ££ economists in Vevey will be advocating massive transfer of business to mainland Europe.. So workers in the UK be AFRAID,BE VERY AFRAID... Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. also this false sense of security.. [/p][/quote]....and a Merry Christmas to you too! mythofthenorth

1:52pm Sat 27 Dec 08

Wanderer in Canada says...

I can understand the sense of gloom over the old Rowntrees’ factory if the posters in this thread are all ex-employees, there but I doubt they are.

The level of negativity by posters is only exceeded by their poor reading of the main article and out of context statements taken from it.

There is certainly no reason for a business not to remain successful in York if it stays with the times and delivers what the customers want. I don’t want my KitKat stale or with a bloom on so I am happy their turnaround times are reduced. Stay competitive guys and good luck keeping the factory going.
I can understand the sense of gloom over the old Rowntrees’ factory if the posters in this thread are all ex-employees, there but I doubt they are. The level of negativity by posters is only exceeded by their poor reading of the main article and out of context statements taken from it. There is certainly no reason for a business not to remain successful in York if it stays with the times and delivers what the customers want. I don’t want my KitKat stale or with a bloom on so I am happy their turnaround times are reduced. Stay competitive guys and good luck keeping the factory going. Wanderer in Canada

6:12pm Sat 27 Dec 08

Bobby_M says...

Another quote from Grimwood:

"It would be the easiest thing in the world to up-sticks (from York) and transfer production abroad"

BBC York September '06

I am sure you can check the quote for yourself to see if I have taken him out of context ;-)
Another quote from Grimwood: "It would be the easiest thing in the world to up-sticks (from York) and transfer production abroad" BBC York September '06 I am sure you can check the quote for yourself to see if I have taken him out of context ;-) Bobby_M

6:28pm Sat 27 Dec 08

Soothsayer says...

ernest dickinson wrote:
test
I agree with Ernie!
[quote][p][bold]ernest dickinson[/bold] wrote: test[/p][/quote]I agree with Ernie! Soothsayer

6:35pm Sat 27 Dec 08

MCWM says...

pandaface wrote:
...HEAR YEE HEAR YEE HEAR YEE...complacency and arrogance are traits of senior management in big business,it goes with the territory.Whoever heard of management talking down their little empires. With many big high street stores going down the pan and the general public facing job losses and cut backs in spending,it is inevitable that this company will be hit in the near future. I am no economist but logic says that when Nestles big customers such as the woolworths group sink there can be no alternative to a serious knock on series of events. With the Euro now favourable to the ££ economists in Vevey will be advocating massive transfer of business to mainland Europe.. So workers in the UK be AFRAID,BE VERY AFRAID... Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. also this false sense of security..
"I am no economist " - well that's obvious. Surely a devalued £ can only benefit British manufacturers who export to the Eurozone?!
[quote][p][bold]pandaface[/bold] wrote: ...HEAR YEE HEAR YEE HEAR YEE...complacency and arrogance are traits of senior management in big business,it goes with the territory.Whoever heard of management talking down their little empires. With many big high street stores going down the pan and the general public facing job losses and cut backs in spending,it is inevitable that this company will be hit in the near future. I am no economist but logic says that when Nestles big customers such as the woolworths group sink there can be no alternative to a serious knock on series of events. With the Euro now favourable to the ££ economists in Vevey will be advocating massive transfer of business to mainland Europe.. So workers in the UK be AFRAID,BE VERY AFRAID... Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. also this false sense of security.. [/p][/quote]"I am no economist " - well that's obvious. Surely a devalued £ can only benefit British manufacturers who export to the Eurozone?! MCWM

7:34pm Sat 27 Dec 08

Wanderer in Canada says...

Bobby_M wrote:
Another quote from Grimwood:

"It would be the easiest thing in the world to up-sticks (from York) and transfer production abroad"

BBC York September '06

I am sure you can check the quote for yourself to see if I have taken him out of context ;-)
Bobby _M - it certainly does seem to be out of context as if he meant he could have and would have closed the York factory - he didn't and has now moved jobs so it seems less likely it will be in the near future ;-)

If however he meant that closure was an option that was not chosen (at this time) then maybe it isn't out of context.

Unfortunately I don't know the context from back in September but my guess is the later. You seem to be inferring that it was the former but have offered no proof of such. Can you explain what you mean?
[quote][p][bold]Bobby_M[/bold] wrote: Another quote from Grimwood: "It would be the easiest thing in the world to up-sticks (from York) and transfer production abroad" BBC York September '06 I am sure you can check the quote for yourself to see if I have taken him out of context ;-)[/p][/quote]Bobby _M - it certainly does seem to be out of context as if he meant he could have and would have closed the York factory - he didn't and has now moved jobs so it seems less likely it will be in the near future ;-) If however he meant that closure was an option that was not chosen (at this time) then maybe it isn't out of context. Unfortunately I don't know the context from back in September but my guess is the later. You seem to be inferring that it was the former but have offered no proof of such. Can you explain what you mean? Wanderer in Canada

8:58pm Sat 27 Dec 08

Bobby_M says...

The context was the destruction of over a century of York's heritage. The demolition of Joseph Rowntree's world famous factory. The dissolving of a bond with the community that had been nurtured for generations. The humiliation of a city that had created a product that the whole world loved. The pretense that that heritage belonged to someone who had no hand in its creation. The denial of a city's right to create a museum to reflect its pride in what it had achieved. The corruption of a city's values by putting profit and money and self-interest above anything else. The rewarding of falsehoods and deceits and manipulations instead of truth. The replacing of something genuine and good and virtuous and long lasting with something false and corrupt and pernicious that would not last five minutes. That was the context of the words I quoted, which were explicitly chosen to scare the city of York into acquiescing to the grubby scheme. I hope you now understand what how words were intended - as a thinly veiled threat to close down Rowntrees altogether if anyone stood up to this Godforsaken corporation.

The context was the destruction of over a century of York's heritage. The demolition of Joseph Rowntree's world famous factory. The dissolving of a bond with the community that had been nurtured for generations. The humiliation of a city that had created a product that the whole world loved. The pretense that that heritage belonged to someone who had no hand in its creation. The denial of a city's right to create a museum to reflect its pride in what it had achieved. The corruption of a city's values by putting profit and money and self-interest above anything else. The rewarding of falsehoods and deceits and manipulations instead of truth. The replacing of something genuine and good and virtuous and long lasting with something false and corrupt and pernicious that would not last five minutes. That was the context of the words I quoted, which were explicitly chosen to scare the city of York into acquiescing to the grubby scheme. I hope you now understand what how words were intended - as a thinly veiled threat to close down Rowntrees altogether if anyone stood up to this Godforsaken corporation. Bobby_M

9:56pm Sat 27 Dec 08

Wanderer in Canada says...

It is quite right you should express an opinion on the subject, but it is not fair to take quotes from others out of context and infer they support it.

You may even think that Mr. Grimwood is a liar but nothing quoted in this article or in the subsequent posts, actually provides proof that his statements are untrue.

Let’s give the article its intended context, which was to provide a platform for some (relatively) good news about a factory that formed an important part of York’s past. Hopefully it will form part of a bright future too :-)
It is quite right you should express an opinion on the subject, but it is not fair to take quotes from others out of context and infer they support it. You may even think that Mr. Grimwood is a liar but nothing quoted in this article or in the subsequent posts, actually provides proof that his statements are untrue. Let’s give the article its intended context, which was to provide a platform for some (relatively) good news about a factory that formed an important part of York’s past. Hopefully it will form part of a bright future too :-) Wanderer in Canada

11:45pm Sat 27 Dec 08

pandaface says...

Not a chance if the quality of chocolate in future is like the smarties i got in my selection pack.
Made in mainland EU and tasted like the cheap tat choc you get in lesser brand names.
They used to be nice and creamy.Now they just taste of sweeteners..
Not a chance if the quality of chocolate in future is like the smarties i got in my selection pack. Made in mainland EU and tasted like the cheap tat choc you get in lesser brand names. They used to be nice and creamy.Now they just taste of sweeteners.. pandaface

4:34pm Mon 29 Dec 08

Fat Harry says...

Q: How can you tell when a boss is lying?

A: His (or her) lips are moving.

Q: How can you tell when a boss is lying? A: His (or her) lips are moving. Fat Harry
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