Sep 1, 2013, updated September 2013
In rural regions across the world, from Latin America to Asia to Europe, many thousands of dairy farmers supply our factories directly. With close links to farmers around the world, Nestlé can provide facilities and support to help develop a supply chain on which our business depends – for the right quality and quantity of milk, in the right place, and at the right time.
Most of our rural factories are located within our milk districts – areas in which farmers supply our milk factories directly. We, in turn, provide facilities and support the local supply chain, helping to fuel rural development.
Creating a greatly expanded dairy industry through the Nestlé milk districts has not only benefitted milk farmers and their families, it has also had a significant impact on nutrition levels in the country. Milk and milk products play an essential role in the nutrition of consumers, serving as an important source of energy, protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, as well as many essential vitamins and trace minerals. Milk not only contains a good quantity of protein, but the nutritional quality of its protein is also first-rate.
Farmers supply milk daily to our collection centres, directly to the factory or to contracted third parties. In many cases, we collect milk in trucks that go around to the dairy farms. The price paid varies according to the quality of the milk.
As milk is highly perishable, we also provide the storage and cooling infrastructure needed to maintain a constant supply of high-quality milk to our factories, many of which are located in the heart of our milk districts.
Our milk district model brings us close to the farmers who we rely on for quality milk – from small-scale producers supplying us with less than five litres a day to large dairy farms supplying thousands of litres.
Building close links with farmers means we understand the practical problems that affect their businesses – and ultimately ours – over the long term. Issues such as how to keep animals healthy and productive, how best to store silage, how to deal with organic waste and manage water supplies – in other words, how dairy farming can be profitable and sustainable.
Value to Society
The Nestlé factory in El Jadida, Morocco, provides a secure market for dairy farmers, and is also helping to improve the health of women and children in the country.
Nestlé Morocco’s partnership with the Zakoura Foundation since 1997 has resulted in the sponsorship of 58 schools and the education of 2,700 schoolchildren (mainly girls) in rural areas near the factory. One of those children, Halim Eddahbi, has since graduated with a Master’s degree in electronics and is now an employee at the factory.
Value to Nestlé
Sourcing safe, high-quality milk, a key ingredient, is a chief priority, and direct procurement from farmers makes traceability easier. To ensure quality, we have an assurance plan with training and manuals detailing good farm practices for each district; farms are audited regularly to ensure that requirements are met.
In 2012, we purchased more than 7.2 million tonnes of fresh milk from dairy farmers – about 68% of our total fresh milk required comes from Farmer Connect, direct sourcing activities.