Nestle, No Thank You
Nestle, a water bottling company that is named after Henri Nestle, a german pharmacist, started out as a company with a set of condensed milk products which later partnered up with Anglo-Swiss Milk company to eliminate competition in 1905. Since then, it has progressed to coffee, tea, instant chocolate milk, Buitoni, cat food and even Jenny Craig and Gerber from 1905 – 2009. It has opened up many bottling plants all over the country and yet, they want to get into Cascade Locks and set up shop there. If they were to get into Cascade Locks, it would not only increase the danger of an extended drought, but also outsource jobs to qualified people outside of the town and open the door for other bottling plants to plant themselves right next door to them and virtually suck their river dry. Although many would say that bringing Nestle in is a good idea, it may not be. It seems the town is looking for a fast recovery to turn their town into a flourishing tourist attraction when what they really need is the right company and the allowance for a longer term resolution to the issue.
According to Oregonian Live, Nestle has ten water bottling plants in California and ‘coincidentally’, that same state is showing to have the worst droughts. Many maps including the United States Drought Monitor shows that California is in a drought worse than any other place in the country. All the water bottling plants are sucking the state dry and Oregon is their next target. Many places in Oregon have been classified as in a drought this year including the county Cascade Locks is in and though they have had a yearly average of 77.45 inches of rainfall, this last year didn’t provide enough. That combined with how bare Mt. Hood is equals a drought. Cascade Locks is said to get a lot of runoff from Mt. Hood as the seasons change and the snow starts to melt, but this past year has led to barely ony snow on the mountain and that is a problem. With the earth changing and the season’s already weirded out, the people of Cascade Locks shouldn’t assume that they will get the same amount of rain as they did the previous year. What is going to happen if they make this deal with Nestle, assuming the rain and runoff will cover their loss and they then get half as much rain and half as much runoff? Nestle will have made a deal that is good for them and bad for the people. Water will dwindle as the people pray for rain the next year and they will be in a never ending drought until a miracle happens.
Nestle has proposed that fifty or so jobs will be created with the placement of a water bottling building but has never said that these jobs will go to the people living in the town. The unemployment rate of Cascade Locks is 18.8 percent as opposed to 5 percent nationally and that is not going to improve if there is no one in town who has the qualifications to work for the plant. If there is little to no people who are qualified to work for them, then Nestle will just outsource the jobs to people living in Portland, Gresham, Vancouver and others. Some people living in Cascade Locks already have to commute out to Gresham for jobs such as teaching or retail, what makes them think that Nestle won’t ask the same of people they hire out of town? These people are counting on something that may not be there. Even if a person living in Cascade Locks qualified for a position with the plant, they always have the opportunity to weigh (his/her) experience with that of someone applying from Sandy, Oregon and willing to make the commute every day. The people of Cascade Locks should really take longer than a minute to think about all the things that Nestle is offering and contemplate the good and the bad about them. Of course, some may say that the outsourcing could be good for the town if they have people coming in every day to buy their gas, eat their food and possibly move in to be closer to work, which would help build the population, but is the price of these jobs really worth the cause? Sure, the jobs could be great and the incoming tourism would improve the community but is that equivalent to the dangers that this company could bring in. Fifty lousy jobs are not worth jack if Nestle sucks the town dry and what about if they plunk down two more bottling plants in that area? This could only bring them bad tidings and more problems than they started out with.
Nestle owns many bottling companies including Arrowhead. If Nestle was let into Cascade Locks, it could open the door for them to place other bottling plants down the river. Is this really worth it when they could, at any time, place more and more of their plants down the way? They’ve already done this in California with Nestle bottling 80 million gallons or so in one part of the state while their other company, Arrowhead is further down the state, bottling more. According to The Desert Sun, while Nestle has been bottling 80 million gallons, their other company, Arrowhead, has been collecting water underground and selling it for profit in the more desert regions of the state. As California’s drought continues, they never stop. If Nestle was let into Cascade Locks, there is nothing stopping them from doing the same thing to us. Nestle cannot be trusted to just do one thing when they’ve proven themselves incapable of keeping their word. Unfortunately, Cascade Locks has not kept it a secret that they get a lot of rain and have a lot of water and so, Nestle will not-so-suddenly become the little green greed goblin who thinks that is they have so much water, they can surely spare a lot more than their offering. They might even think there’d be no harm in siphoning off a little more at a time because, hey! They can handle it!
They only have one choice, and that is to vote for Nestle to not have any opportunities to come in and take advantage to these poor people who only want to improve their town and their lives.
Citations: In order of appearance
- The Nestle Company History. Nestle; Good Food, Good Life, web. HTTPS://nestle.com
- From the Source: Bottled Water in the United States. The Oregonion, Oregonionlive.com, 2015. Web, HTTPS://projects.oregonionlive.com/bottled-waer/
- United States Drought Monitor. U.S. Drought Monitor, November 3, 2015, web November 5, 2015. HTTPS://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
- Little Oversight as Nestle Taps Morongo Reservation Water. The Desert Sun, March 31st, 2015.