Press Clips: Nestle Waters Catching Heat in the Desert

arrowheadA news publication and several environmentally conscious Californians are questioning Nestle Waters North America Inc.’s actions in Cabazon, Calif., the location of a company-owned facility that produces Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.

Despite significant limitations of access, The Desert Sun investigates the rationality of a massive bottling plant based in an area that is very much affected by the statewide drought.

“The reason this particular plant is of special concern is precisely because water is so scarce in the basin,” Peter Gleick, founder of the Pacific Institute, said in the article. “If you had the same bottling plant in a water-rich area, then the amount of water bottled and diverted would be a small fraction of the total water available. But this is a desert ecosystem. Surface water in the desert is exceedingly rare and has a much higher environmental value than the same amount of water somewhere else.”

The facility is situated on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation. The tribe has done its best to prevent the efforts of local politicians interested in a chunk of the water rights. The article notes that the Morongo tribe reaps “undisclosed amounts of income” through a deal with Nestle.

The Desert Sun has requested a tour of the bottling plant several times since last year and the Morongo tribe didn’t respond to inquiries. The operation makes Linda Ivey, a local real estate appraiser, wonder why it’s possible to source and sell water from a drought area.

“It’s hard to know how much is being taken,” she said. “We’ve got to protect what little water supply we have.”

Part of the cloudiness surrounding the operations can be attributed to the specific exemptions of the Morongo tribe. As a sovereign nation, the tribe can avoid the monitoring of local water agencies and the need to report figures such as the amount of water sourced from the plant.

Along with the plant’s water output, another difficult thing to quantify is honesty. But don’t tell that to Seth Goldman and company. Goldman’s Honest Tea will conduct an experiment known as the “2014 Honesty Index” in the Minneapolis region, according to The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. An unattended kiosk will be stocked with cold beverages and will ask consumers to put in $1 per bottle (honor system applies here). The test, which will run in one city in all 50 states, will end in mid-August. Results will be released shortly after and all money collected will be donated to charity.

The experiment makes the publication wonder: “Minnesota women may be strong. The men might be good looking, and the children are said to be above average. But are we honest?”

From what’s been written about him in the past few days, it seems that Peter K. Warren would have paid the full dollar. The Wilton Bulletin writes that Warren, a former Pepsi International executive, passed away on Monday. He was 94.

Warren worked in the beverage industry for nearly 70 years and was responsible for Pepsi’s market entry into more than 100 countries over three decades. He started at the Coca-Cola Co., but moved to PepsiCo in 1950 when the company sold just one product. He eventually served as the VP of marketing, the CEO of international business, and as a board member.

“Recognized by friends and business associates from around the world as a true beverage industry icon and an inspirational global business leader, Peter possessed the charisma and business acumen to meet the formidable challenges faced by many companies entering international markets for the first time,” The Wilton Bulletin writes. “His cultural sensitivity and interpersonal skills enabled him to build strong and lasting partnerships wherever he planted the Pepsi flag.”