* Horsemeat found in products labelled as beef
* Nestle says its products not affected, does more checks
VEVEY, Switzerland Feb 14 Nestle SA
said a growing scandal in Europe over the use of horsemeat in
products labelled as beef hurts the whole industry even though
the world's biggest food company is not directly affected.
"It has affected us because the whole industry is in
question again," Chief Executive Paul Bulcke told a news
conference after Nestle published 2012 results. "This is bad for
so many people working hard to give safe and good food."
The British unit of frozen foods group Findus
began recalling its beef lasagne last week on advice from French
supplier Comigel, sparking questions about the safety of the
European food supply chain.
Nestle, which sold the rights to the Findus brand in most of
Europe in 2000 but retained them in Switzerland, launched a
campaign this week to reassure consumers that Swiss Findus
products were only made from Swiss beef.
"Everything under our labels is not affected," Bulcke said,
adding that Nestle had intensified checks on its suppliers in
the wake of the scandal.
In recent years Nestle has sought to shift away from
lower-margin products like frozen food towards more profitable
"nutrition, health and wellness" brands although prepared dishes
and cooking aids still contributed 15 percent to 2012 sales.
Bulcke said Nestle had invested heavily in recent years in
systems to monitor its suppliers.
"We know that in a world that is so interconnected as it is
today, traceability is of utmost importance for creating that
relationship of trust," he said. "With a push of a button we
know where things come from."