Building capacity through assistance
Through our activities in 2012, we enabled more than 44,000 farmers (2011: 45,000) to access services amounting to USD 37.8 million (2011: USD 59.4 million) worth of assistance, of which we provided USD 23 million (2011: USD 24.9 million) of direct financial assistance.
A network of more than 1,100 sourcing staff and agronomists and 12,000 additional staff provide training and technical support for our farmer connect operations, and maintain ongoing dialogue with them, as well as with government agencies and NGO partners.
In 2012, 273,808 farmers (2011: 200 751) around the world were trained through our capacity-building programmes. There are no conditions attached to the technical assistance, advice and support we give to our suppliers, and the farmers who currently supply us directly are not obliged to take this up.
We have technical assistance schemes in place across 22 of 32 countries where we have milk operations: We have additional water programmes with farmers in 18 countries and provide farmers with access to finance in 22 countries.
Investing in plant science to help farmers
We are investing in plant science R&D to help farmers produce their crops in a way that ensures their long-term economic future and preserves the environment. Working through a network of R&D centers our activities are centred around:
- Plant selection and breeding to offer a better choice of plant varieties to farmers
- In-vitro research to preserve genetic diversity and deliver better plants to farmers
- Ways to improve the traceability of raw materials from farm to fork Developing a consumer-centric understanding of the quality of raw materials and how they impact our products, and
- Helping farmer through practices that improve productivity, crop quality and environmental protection.
Our farmer training and support focuses mainly on the efficient use and conservation of water; land conservation; access to clean water for farming communities; improving the status of women in rural communities; and improving education. This leads to greater yields of higher quality, more varied crops for us, and increased income and higher standards of living for our suppliers.
Read more about building capacity in The Nestlé Cocoa Plan and The Nescafé Plan.