Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Kellogg's exits Venezuela over social and economic 'deterioration'

Kellogg's exits Venezuela over social and economic 'deterioration'

The ensuing story finds Oliver delving into the South American country's dire economic situation, focusing in particular on the leadership under which said crisis-caused in large part by Venezuela's economic dependence on oil, prices of which fell precipitously beginning in 2014-has come about.

Kellogg confirmed later on Tuesday that its manufacturing plant had been seized by the leftist government, the latest company to jump ship amid Venezuela's tough business climate.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is standing for re-election in Sunday's polls, told a rally that he would hand control of the factory over to the workers to keep the plant operational, adding that he thought Kellogg's decision was "unconstitutional".

Maduro is blaming everyone for his mess, mostly the US, but "accusing America of creating Venezuela's crisis is about as fair as accusing O.J. Simpson of murdering Princess Diana - I'm not saying it would be completely out of character, it just happens to not be true in this particular instance", Oliver said. "The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations".

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The company's local operations had around 400 workers, according to local media.

Kellogg's is the most recent company to pull out of Venezuela, following the likes of Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills and Kimberly-Clark. In 2014, authorities took over two plants belonging to US cleaning products maker Clorox Co after its departure. "Operations halted due to lack of raw materials, the government took it over, and now it's paralysed...."

In family breakfast cereals, Kellogg's Corn Flakes also held the leading position in 2017 with a 46% value share.

"No Kellogg products or brands should be commercialized in the country without the expressed authorization of the Kellogg Company", Kellogg said in its statement, adding it would like to return to Venezuela in the future.

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