Nestlé empowers female coffee farmers

Location: Kenya

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Nov 26, 2013, updated November 2013

Nestlé empowers female coffee farmers
Gender Equality:Nestlé is working with coffee cooperatives to promote women in leadership roles.

Nestlé is encouraging more female coffee growers in Kenya to take up leadership roles in farming cooperatives as part of its commitment to scaling up its business-related activities to promote gender equality and education for women and girls.

The company has launched a programme to train more than 1,000 women in better agricultural practices, while at the same time developing their confidence and business skills.

Programme description

Nestlé is working with nine coffee cooperatives with the aim of seeing women hold at least one third of all leadership positions within them by 2015.

Through the programme, Nestlé has identified a selection of women from each co-op and trained them to become "promoter farmers" who will take the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired back to their communities to educate their peers.

Value to Society

Nestlé’s training programme for female coffee farmers in Kenya is just one of a number of initiatives that the company is involved in to help improve the lives of women in its supply chain.

This year, Nestlé signed up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a partnership initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact that comprises seven steps business can take to advance gender equality and empower women.

Value to Nestlé

Women do more than two thirds of the work involved in coffee farming in Kenya. However, fewer than 5% of leadership roles in coffee cooperatives in the country are currently held by women. We are encouraging them to move into leadership roles, so they can be adequately represented in decision making. Svetlana Obruchkova, Managing Director of Nestlé Kenya.

Nestlé is running the training programme in Kenya in collaboration with agricultural business services provider Coffee Management Services, as part of its Nescafé Plan activities in the country.

The Nescafé Plan (Nestlé’s global initiative to create shared value within the coffee supply chain) includes measures such as increasing direct procurement from farmers, offering them free technical assistance and training in agricultural best practices, and providing high-yield coffee seedlings at subsidised rates.

The sustainably-farmed coffee sourced from the company’s Nescafé Plan activities in Kenya is used to supply its Nescafé Dolce Gusto business.

Next Steps

Nestlé recently published an action plan (pdf, 412 Kb) that sets out in more detail what it will do in the short and medium term to strengthen its efforts to promote and support the lives of women in its cocoa supply chain.