Nestle, the world’s largest food company, announced on Wednesday that it will shutter or sell the Wyeth Nutrition baby formula factory in Askeaton, Ireland, no later than the first quarter of 2026.
The major reason given for this decision was that China’s birth rate has collapsed so much that the plant’s output, which was exported to Asia, is no longer needed.
“The number of newborn babies in China has declined sharply from some 18 million per year in 2016 to fewer than 9 million projected in 2023. The market, which had previously been reliant on imported infant formula products, is also seeing rapid growth in locally produced products,” Nestle stated.
The company said it would shutter a research and development center at the Askeaton plant by 2025, putting a total of 542 local jobs on the line.
“The full range of state supports will be made available to the employees, and we will examine each and every option to ensure that the best possible outcome is reached for all concerned,” Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Simon Coveney told the BBC on Wednesday. (Read more from “China’s Birth Rate Falls So Low That Baby Formula Factory to Shut Down” HERE)
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