Communities across North America Unite to Challenge Nestlé and the Commodification of Water.
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Fryeburg, Maine (March 14, 2021)
Front-line communities from Maine, California, Michigan, Colorado, Florida and Ontario, Canada call on regulatory agencies and legislators to closely examine Nestlé´s sale of its North American operations to a private equity firm. This sale, for an estimated $4 billion, would be a massive private transfer of ‘water wealth,’ an especially ominous development in light of Wall Street’s accelerating interest in ‘water futures’ trading.
People who share concerns about water profiteers are invited to join the international online rally Thursday, March 18 at 7:00pm ET (RSVP here). Grassroots leaders from communities where Nestlé extracts water will be joined by U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, musical guests, and celebrity endorsers. Community Water Justice and The Story of Stuff will be live-streaming the event.
Paying next to nothing in royalties, Nestlé makes billions of dollars per year mining and exporting groundwater sources. In communities across North America, the pattern repeats itself: Nestlé enters a local town making promises of “local” job opportunities, sustainability, and the highest environmental standards to its water bottling operations. Over time the surrounding communities see a trail of broken promises, environmental degradation and a struggle to regain access to their water supplies.
Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage corporation, is now seeking a pay-off by selling its North American bottled water brands to private equity profiteers One Rock Capital Partners in the largest private transfer of water for bottling in U.S. history. Despite this sale, Nestlé continues to fight for extensions and expansions to its water permits across an entire continent in an effort to package a profitable business venture for the next corporation.
In the context of a global pandemic and increasing droughts and wildfires across North America, it’s clearer than ever that water should be stewarded by and for the people, with respect for all living things. All too often over recent years, we’ve seen water being commodified and sold in single-use plastic packaging that’s accelerating a waste crisis instead.
Community Water Justice cofounder Nickie Sekera states “It’s time for us to protect our waters for future generations as communities across the continent are now calling for Nestle’s existing contracts to end, and for local stewardship over the groundwater. It’s past due that our elected leaders work toward stronger water protections for the people and environment- and not for water privatizers as Nestlé or One Rock.”