The three-year partnership aims to support 25,000 farmers and 50 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as open-up new markets for them in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria, increasing employment and food security.
The collaboration seeks to develop and empower these farmers and SMEs to help Nestlé meet its goal of boosting from 60% to more than 70% by 2022, its responsibly and regionally produced, high-quality raw materials used in the production of Maggi, Milo and Cerelac. By improving local agricultural produce, imports of food crops for local markets will be reduced.
“In line with Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value (https://bit.ly/3bvSarl) approach, our new partnership with IDH will increase the capacity of farmers to produce high quality crops that will enhance local supply and help develop local economies – this is all part of our commitment to improving 30 million livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities” (https://bit.ly/2yvZ6Gu) said Rémy Ejel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nestlé Central and West Africa Ltd.
Overcoming challenges in local agriculture
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the agricultural sector helps to support food security and eradicate hunger (https://bit.ly/2VT4cEC) in the region, contributing about 15% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, based on current trends, the food production system in Sub Saharan Africa will only meet 13% of its food demand by 2050 (https://bit.ly/3bzYA9e).
Low productivity means agricultural output in Central and West Africa is only 56% of the world average. Poor quality and high post-harvest losses impact on raw materials production, while a lack of knowledge, inadequate infrastructure and rising youth unemployment all affect sustainable supply.
The IDH-Nestlé partnership aims to address such challenges by encouraging farmers and SMEs to efficiently produce high quality and high-yield crops using best agricultural practices, and in turn, also help to reduce their environmental impact and the need for natural resources.
Such efforts highlight the importance of this year’s Earth Day (https://bit.ly/3bu9ey7), which focuses on climate action. In 2019, the company announced a new ambition to achieve zero net GHG emissions (https://bit.ly/3eGAXgR) by 2050, in line with the UN climate pledge. To guide its efforts, Nestlé identified several key actions: fight deforestation, reduce food loss and waste, work with farmers to reduce GHG emissions, develop alternative packaging solutions, and help suppliers manage soils through regenerative agriculture and tree planting.