Nestlé leads call to accelerate sustainable agricultural growth

Jan 28, 2011
Maize farmer in Ghana CREAM OF THE CROP: Nestlé provides on-site education and training to help farmers improve the quality of their crop and increase their yields.

Nestlé today led a coalition of 17 global partner companies of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in calling for more constructive public-private sector partnerships in order to accelerate sustainable agricultural growth.

As a member of the ‘New Vision for Agriculture’ initiative, the Company presented a new ‘Roadmap for Stakeholders’ at the WEF Annual Meeting 2011, taking place in Davos, Switzerland, this week.

Frits van Dijk, Nestlé’s Executive Vice President and Zone Director for Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East (AOA), joined representatives from organisations including General Mills and Wal-Mart Stores Inc to announce the Roadmap, which sets out a series of priority actions and innovative models for collaboration.

Speaking on behalf of the initiative, Mr van Dijk said: “We are sending out a strong message that the private sector is ready to work with public sector leaders to realise agriculture’s potential as a positive driver of food security, environmental sustainability, and worldwide economic growth.

“To do this we need innovation right across the agricultural value chain, increased skill and investment, and the cooperation of all stakeholders. We all have a part to play: governments can set the direction, businesses can invest and innovate, and civil society can mobilise communities.”

We all have a part to play: governments can set the direction, businesses can invest and innovate, and civil society can mobilise communities. Frits van Dijk, Nestlé Executive Vice President

As Director of Nestlé’s Zone AOA region, Mr van Dijk has overseen the strengthening of relationships between Nestlé and those local communities who produce some of its most important raw materials.

In central and west Africa for example, Nestlé works directly with cereal grain and legume producers to reduce levels of biological toxins found in crops.

Through a programme of on-site education and training, Nestlé agronomists and technical advisors teach farmers how to grow safer grains, which not only attract a higher market value, but also reduce risks to the health of local people who consume them.

Such experience and expertise in rural development led to Nestlé becoming one of the 17 WEF global partner companies to provide strategic leadership and championship of the New Vision for Agriculture initiative.

Managed by the WEF, the initiative works to advance market-based solutions and develop a shared agenda for action with business, governments, farmers, international organisations and civil society.

Related information:
World Economic Forum - Agriculture and Food Security