Having weathered the storm over quality concerns regarding its flagship Maggi noodles, Nestle India is eyeing a Diwali comeback. The firm is busy visiting plants of various vendors, collecting samples and asking them to increase their manpower to keep their factories hygienic.
While Nestle got a reprieve in August when the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on sale of Maggi, the firm’s plans received a booster on Monday when Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority and the Karnataka government decided to lift the ban on sale of the product.
Two vendors of Maggi told The Indian Express that Nestle’s officials from the quality department visited their plant over the last week.
“They collected samples for testing and asked to beef up manpower as headcount was significantly reduced following the Maggi fiasco. They also asked us to fumigate the plant and get it ready from a hygiene point of view,” said a vendor of Nestle’s Maggi.
He also said that the officials hinted that if everything goes smoothly then, “By Diwali Maggi should be in the market.”
A source further said that company officials are visiting vendor units across its five plants and asking them to prepare their factories as they were not operating fully for the last five months.
A senior Nestle official added that the company is activating its supply chain and moving as fast as it can towards getting Maggi back into the market.
Sources close to the development said that as per the Bombay High Court’s decision Nestle will have to first manufacture samples, get them tested and seek a final verdict from the court to start selling in the market. Also, since high courts across states had asked Nestle India to stop the sale of Maggi within the respective state, the company will have to file a petition with the state high court along with the copy of the Bombay High Court verdict and seek clarity.
Only after it gets the approval, it can go ahead and start selling Maggi noodles within the state.
On Monday, while the Congress government in Karnataka decided to allow manufacture and sale of Maggi noodles in the state and said that it decided to withhold the Centre’s directive banning it as it lacked clarity.
Even the Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) lifted the ban on the sale of Maggi noodles.
The two states had banned the sale of Maggi for a month in June after the lead and monosodium glutamate levels in the product were found to be above the prescribed limits.