ABERFOYLE – Local water advocates are demanding that Nestlé Waters Canada revert the Aberfoyle plant back to public ownership as part of the company’s planned sale of its bottled water brands.
The company’s initial attempt to sell the Pure Life water bottle brand and assets to Ice River Springs this summer fell through.
Although Nestlé spokesperson Jennifer Kerr declined to comment on a possible sale, it is expected the company is again looking to sell its bottled water brands.
Some sources say the Pure Life, Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Zephyrhills and Ice Mountain brands could fetch upwards of $5 billion.
Advocates, including the Wellington Water Watchers, have been seeking government approval to phase out water removal permits for bottlers altogether in recent years.
Local Nestlé opponents join more than a dozen organizations in Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland in writing to Nestlé CEO Ulf Mark Schneider to “demand that the company return the Aberfoyle Complex and four other particularly controversial water sources to the public prior to any sale,” Wellington Water Watchers officials stated in a press release.
Those other sources are located in Michigan, Colorado, Florida and California.
Local advocates would also like to see the Nestle well in Erin and its proposed well near Elora also returned to the local municipalities.
“Nestlé Waters Canada is proud to be part of the communities in which we operate,” said Dr. Andreanne Simard, natural resource manager for Nestlé Waters Canada.
“We have a long history of supporting these communities as an employer, a contributor to local organizations and by maintaining open and transparent communications.
“Our shared commitment to the sustainability of water resources is grounded in science and guides our everyday decisions and actions.”
The letter from water advocates marks the launch of a global campaign – entitled “Nestlé’s Troubled Waters” – to pressure the company, potential buyers, regulators and lawmakers to see the ownership of these water sources revert to the public trust.
Any private sale of the Aberfoyle Complex by Nestlé Waters Canada will be opposed by Six Nations, officials say.
“Giving the Aberfoyle complex to Six Nations, a water insecure community, is an appropriate act of reconciliation and the details of the transfer can be resolved by appropriate public parties,” officials say.