A week after Nestlé closed its three factories in Ukraine, the world’s largest food manufacturer has started limited operations.

Nestlé declined to provide exact details on the operational status of the plants when contacted by Just Food today (3 March) but gave an essence of the challenges in Ukraine as the invasion by Russia entered an eighth day.

“A limited part of our supply chain operations is running today in places where it is safe to do so. We remain committed to continuing to serve the local people with essential food and beverages,” a Nestlé spokesperson said in a statement.

The three plants manufacture culinary food products, confectionery and coffee, the spokesperson confirmed. The sites employ 5,800 people.

“Sales in Ukraine account for less than half of a percent of total Nestlé sales,” the spokesperson added.

In a report published yesterday evening, Reuters quoted a Nestlé spokesperson as saying: “We are trying to reopen parts of the supply chain and distribute to retailers where it is safe to do so. The latest information is this was partially possible.”

In Ukraine, Lactalis, the world’s largest dairy producer, reopened its facility on Tuesday in Nikolaev in the south of the country. One of three plants in Ukraine, the site was earlier closed due to nearby fighting.

Meanwhile, Finland’s Fazer Group announced yesterday it had suspended the export of confectionery and “milling products” to Russia amounting to annual sales of about EUR12.5m (US$13.8m).

Fazer has assets in Russia, including a bakery business. The company generated EUR157.4m in sales and employed 2,344 staff in Russia in 2021.

Just Food has asked the company for clarification on the status of the operations.

For more on Just Food’s coverage on how the conflict is affecting the food industry, please visit our dedicated microsite.