Enhancing rural development and livelihoods
A growing global population means rising demand for food, but agriculture is facing many challenges. By understanding those challenges, identifying solutions and measuring the impacts of our activities, we aim to improve farmer livelihoods, make farming a more attractive and sustainable option for the next generation and ensure long-term supplies of the raw materials we need.
Creating shared value...
The world needs more food than ever, and only by building sustainability into the agriculture sector can we guarantee good food for generations to come and help alleviate poverty.
For our business
Farmers grow the ingredients we need to make our products, and it’s in our interest to ensure those ingredients are sustainable in the long term and as high quality as they can be.
Why it matters
While the world needs more food than ever, consumers also increasingly want to know how and where their food is produced. At the same time, factors such as climate change, poor practices, diseased plants, a lack of empowerment for women, water scarcity and an aging farming population all put pressure on farmers.
Many farmers, their families and their communities survive on low incomes. As a result, fewer young people view farming as a viable livelihood, choosing instead to move to urban areas to find employment. This presents a challenge that jeopardizes future supplies of the raw materials we use.
Our experience and scale as a global food producer enable us to make a difference by supporting rural development and economic growth throughout our supply chains. Working closely with farmers, their communities and expert organizations, we look to identify the root causes of challenges farmers face, and develop solutions to help them improve their practices, increase their productivity and income, and make farming a more attractive sector. We do this across four key areas:
- Assessing farmers’ needs, to ensure we address the right issues.
- Farmer economics, to help make farms and farming economically viable and attractive for the next generation.
- Farmer diets, to ensure farmers and their families are healthy and have access to the nutrition they need.
- Responsible sourcing, ensuring our supplies of raw ingredients are sourced in way that meets our Responsible Sourcing Standard and the growing demand from consumers for ethical sourcing.
To address these areas, we now focus increasingly on impact by using our Theory of Change (ToC), which we have developed for the different categories we buy. This allows Nestlé to focus our activity where it matters most and measure our impact at a global level. The ToC methodology identifies desired long-term goals, then works back to determine what conditions must be in place for the goals to be reached.
Initially, this impact-centered approach has been implemented in our Farmer Connect coffee supply chain. Where we source directly, Farmer Connect is our longstanding program to support local farmers to thrive in their communities. ToC methodology has enabled us to better support farmers by targeting specific needs where we can deliver the biggest impact across our supply chain.
Our work on rural development contributes to SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16 and 17.
Our material issues are those that have the most impact on the economy, society and the environment. See how we map our material issues to the UN SDGs (pdf, 600Kb)