Nestle reopens factories, warehouses in central and west Ukraine

A logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne
A logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne, Switzerland April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Nestle (NESN.S), the world's largest food group, said it has reopened its factories and warehouses in central and western Ukraine in a bid to ensure essential food and drink deliveries in the war-torn country.

The Swiss-based group, which has three factories and around 5,000 employees in Ukraine, temporarily closed its operations last Thursday after Russian forces invaded in the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two.

"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," a Nestle spokesperson told Reuters.

Ukraine closed its ports last Thursday after the Russian invasion, sparking fears the country will eventually face food shortages due to an inability to import goods.

Nestle, maker of iconic products like Nescafe and Kit Kat, said while most the food products it sells in Ukraine are produced locally, some raw materials used to make the goods, like coffee and cocoa, are imported.

A trader at one of the world's largest commodity trade houses told Reuters he is having to redirect all the coffee he had headed to Ukraine as no shipping lines are prepared to transport goods there.

Reporting by Maytaal Angel Editing by Bernadette Baum

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