A global approach

The map below shows some of the broader
activities in which Nestlé is involved across the world, which among
others, include initiatives focused on sustainability, direct
purchasing and environmental enhancement.

The United Nations defines sustainable development as “development
that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs.”

The concept of sustainability embraces three distinct areas –
economic, social and environmental. Nestlé along with Danone and
Unilever in 2002, formed the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative
(SAI-Platform) with a view to intensifying the development of
programmes in these three key areas.

The SAI-Platform is
currently involved in several pilot projects to test sustainable
principles and practices. Similar projects are underway in Ethiopia and
El Salvador to encourage farmers to diversify their crop selection and
break their total dependence on the successful growth of coffee. In El
Salvador for example, Nestlé provides agronomists who are able to help
farmers decide exactly how they should diversify and provide them with
initial crops, materials and animals such as chickens.

Farmers
are also taught new skills in order to help them improve both the
quality and yield of their crops, and long-term soil health increasing
their chance of longer-term prosperity.

Nestlé also supports the
International Institute for Sustainable Development, a forum that seeks
to bring together numerous interests to develop solutions for
environmentally friendly farming, and the “4C” (Common Code for the
Coffee Community), an all-stakeholder voluntary group working to define
the “minimum conditions” for coffee growing. The company is also the
world’s largest direct buyer of coffee – helping, in those cases, to
increase the share of total coffee revenue that goes directly to the
producers on the ground.

Alastair Sykes, CEO of Nestlé UK and
Ireland said, “Nestlé’s long-term commitment is to develop sustainable
agricultural practices in order to help alleviate hardship and poverty
among small coffee farmers. Increasingly the public expects us to bring
this commitment to social responsibility alive in our brands and show
them how farmers can be helped to have a better life.”

Mexico – Tezonapa

Located in the middle region of Veracruz, poverty in Tezonapa was
rampant due to poor cultivation management. An integral and sustainable
project was established with the support of the state, local government
and two farmers’ associations.

Agronomists provide technical assistance and training to farmers to
help them improve the quality of their coffee beans and support
diversification projects, such as fish production.

Nestlé Mexico has also provided assistance to build a school for 120 farmers’ children and also provides food donations.

Thailand

Nestlé’s Agricultural Services provide technical assistance to
coffee growers including training on sustainable coffee growing and
diversification.

In 1991, Nestlé Thailand established its first green coffee procurement centre in the south, Sawi district, Chumporn province.

Nestlé
established its Arabica Experimental and Demonstration Project in North
Thailand aimed at encouraging sustainable development.

China

Nestle China set up Nestlé Agricultural Services in 1992 to provide
technical assistance, training, a demonstration farm and research and
development. About 2,200 people have received training so far.

The direct procurement of green coffee beans is beneficial to
farmers as it improves their revenue by helping them to retain a
greater part of the coffee’s value.

Nestlé China started the
green coffee direct procurement in 1994 and is now one of six countries
where coffee is bought in this way Рin 2004 Nestl̩ purchased 14 per
cent of its green coffee directly from farmers around the world.

Vietnam

In partnership with local groups, Nestlé established a sustainable
coffee project at the Ea Kuang and Hoa Tien communes of the Krong Pak
District, which covers about 150 farmers.

The main objective is to achieve economic viability and develop an
approach for the implementation of sustainable coffee growing at the
level of smallholder coffee farmers. This is to include Farmers Field
Schools and field days aimed at communicating sustainable coffee
growing and the improvement of coffee bean quality.

Vietnam recently hired an agronomist
to provide technical assistance to coffee growers in the area. The
direct procurement scheme will also start this year.

Guatemala

New, more efficient, stoves have been
provided in up to half of the farms that are part of a project 112km
west of Guatemala City – replacing the original method of having an
open fire in the living areas.

The stoves use 75 per cent less wood than traditional fires and are also cheap and locally produced.

The old-style fires, which were lit in houses without any chimneys, were also very harmful to the health of the farm workers.

Ivory Coast

Nestlé Ivory Coast established several coffee-buying stations in the south.

Through these, coffee growers can sell their coffee beans directly.

Nicaragua

A pilot project has been set up to implement, monitor and document a
comprehensive model of sustainable coffee production for medium and
small-scale coffee producers at the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in
Northern Nicaragua.

There is also additional investment in social and environmental
projects, aimed at directly improving the infrastructure of farms. This
includes providing latrines for farm workers, small water treatment
ponds and the construction of a new school.

Ethiopia

A project has been established in which facilities for
drinking-water are being installed and environmentally friendly pulping
and washing equipment introduced to reduce water contamination.

In this project leftover pulp is used as fertiliser on the land, reducing risk of damage to the environment.

Nestlé is also working to reduce water waste and to minimise pollution and energy consumption from milling equipment.

The Philippines

An agronomy programme was established in the 1960s to increase the income of coffee farmers by improving growing methods.

The Nestlé Agricultural Research and Training Centre (NARTC) was
established in Mindanao to propagate high quality and high yielding
robusta coffee and to train farmers.

The Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm was established in south Mindanao to train farmers.

Indonesia

Technical assistance is provided to around 300 farmers in quality
and safety control and for diversification projects in pepper and
ginger.

In 2003 Nestlé purchased 3,000 tonnes of coffee beans directly from around 3,500 coffee growers.

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