Our commitment: Roll out the Rural Development Framework to understand the needs of farmers
The wellbeing of farmers, their families and their communities is intrinsic to the long-term success of our business. That’s why we are committed to providing agricultural support and capacity-building programmes to our direct suppliers. The Rural Development Framework (RDF) is a diagnostic tool that will help us to deliver a consistent approach to addressing issues on the ground.
By 2015: Continue to establish baseline assessments in the countries of key importance to our business that show pronounced social need to guide us in aligning our own activities with the priorities of local communities.
By 2016: Put in place strategies (activities and targets) in priority locations to improve food availability and dietary diversity. Pilots running in three locations.
By 2017: Ensure that farmer training support programmes are: developing agripreneurs; equally accessible to men, women and young people; and available to farm workers.
By 2018: Establish a total of 18 baseline assessments in the sourcing locations of key importance to our business that show pronounced social need, to guide us in aligning our own activities with the priorities of farmers and local communities.
By 2020: Improve farm economics in seven priority sourcing locations based upon the results of the RDF baselines. (Farm economics comprises the following four factors on which Nestlé will focus: productivity, quality, costs and price premiums.)
By 2020: Improve food availability and dietary diversity in five priority sourcing locations based upon the results of the RDF baselines.
Nestlé has 400 factories located in rural areas, employing 205 000 people, and we source raw materials from more than 4 million farmers, 760 000 of them supplying us directly.
Focusing on eight core areas, we aim to improve the livelihoods of farmers within our supply chains. Designed with the assistance of several NGOs, the RDF seeks to contribute to our Farmer Connect and smallholder upstream sourcing activities in a manner that ensures our long-term supply, while simultaneously contributing to rural development.
Our programme of baseline assessments is ongoing, and we have introduced a new objective to measure progress. Initially, we planned assessments in 21 sourcing locations but have reduced this to 18 to optimise resources. Having completed 11 assessments, we have defined a series of interim goals and action plans to take us towards our new 2020 objective.
We have also conducted studies to assess the poor nutrition status of farmers and communities. To address this in the short term, we will offer farmer training on nutrition, promote intercropping, kitchen gardens and livestock, and introduce our Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme into more rural areas.
Our capacity-building training in Farmer Connect covers a wide range of aspects: from propagation to post-harvest storage; farm animal health, care and welfare to farm management and record keeping; and water conservation irrigation to soil fertility.
Farmers trained through Farmer Connect capacity-building programmes