Raw materials

We source millions of tonnes of agricultural raw materials, and millions of farmers depend on our business for their livelihoods. All our suppliers are required to meet our high standards, but we help them improve their environmental sustainability practices through advice, training and support. This enables us to ensure a secure source of high-quality ingredients.

Our approach

We use around 26 million tonnes of raw materials, sourcing directly from farmers and procuring fresh and semi-processed raw materials from our Tier 1 suppliers (those in direct commercial relationships with Nestlé). Where possible, we source materials produced near our factories.

To promote sustainable agricultural practices, we help our suppliers evaluate the environmental performance (and other aspects) of their farms, plantations and upstream supply chains. We do this through several initiatives, some of which are outlined below.

We provide more information about our farming by working alongside non-governmental organisations (NGOs), mapping our supply chains and conducting supplier audits and farm assessments to ensure the procurement of our 12 priority categories complies with our Responsible Sourcing Guideline (RSG) criteria.

RISE: Evaluating sustainability

We apply Response-Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE) to farms to assess environmental impacts. The RISE studies assess areas such as crop production, water use and energy consumption, and any potential effects on climate change and biodiversity, and identify where improvements can be made. We completed 55 studies in 6 markets in 2016.

Promoting environmental sustainability in agriculture

We are an active member of several associations, organisations and industry-wide initiatives, including:

  • Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform: Supporting the water, coffee, dairy, meat, and fruit and vegetables working groups;
  • 4C Association: We co-chair this multi-stakeholder organisation, which promotes the Common Code for the Coffee Community and addresses sustainability issues in the coffee sector;
  • IDH Sustainable Coffee Program: A public–private partnership seeking to extend sustainable coffee production into mainstream markets and increase sustainable green coffee sales to 25% in 2015;
  • UNGC Food and Agriculture Business Principles: We are a founding participant of the UNGC’s principles and were involved in their launch in 2014; and
  • Consumer Goods Forum (CGF): Our commitment on no deforestation aligns with the CGF’s goal to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, mobilising resources through individual member company initiatives and collaborative partnerships with governments and NGOs.

We continually look to strengthen these partnerships and explore new opportunities, as well as extend our own Responsible Sourcing activities and initiatives such as the Nescafé Plan and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.


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