FRANCE: Perrier unions push for AOC status
Labour unions at Nestle Waters France's Perrier production plant in Vergeze, southern France, have voted unanimously in favour of re-launching the process aimed at gaining AOC status for the mineral water.
Nestle has not ruled out the sale of the Perrier brand. The unions see an AOC rating as preventing any possibility of Perrier being produced elsewhere.
The French press claims that Nestle is scheduled to make losses this year thanks in part to increased competition from Danone's Badoit sparkling water brand.
Earlier this year, Nestle Waters France clashed with the main Perrier union, the CGT, over the implementation of an early retirement plan. The threat of a sell off and government intervention eventually brought the two sides to an agreement.
However, unions continue to oppose the company's re-organisation plans in France as a whole. These are scheduled to take effect from 1 January and entail setting up five subsidiaries, including three water production companies - Vittel-Contrex, Perrier and Quézac.
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Nestle Waters is to launch a range of sugar free water drinks under its Vittel water brand in time for summer....
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French food giant Danone is willing to buy the 44% it doesn't already own in its Spanish subsidiary for €1.8bn, Spanish newspaper Cinco Dias has reported....
Groupe Danone is keen to follow other global food and drink companies into Russia's bottled water and beverage market, according to local reports....
A poor start to the year in France is expected to hit Groupe Danone through to the middle of 2005....
UK bottled water sales rose 0.5% to 2.08bn litres in 2004, translating into GBP1.2bn of retail value, according to figures released yesterday (31 March)....
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