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Improving farmers’ diets

  • Our commitment
    Improve food availability and dietary diversity among the farmers who supply us
    Female farmer

Why it matters

Our Rural Development Framework assessments showed that shortage of food can be a major problem for many farmers and their families – up to 70% may spend up to three months each year without enough food. Moreover, many farmers lack diversity in their diets, with insufficient protein and nutrient-rich foods like dairy, fruit and vegetables. A stable, long-term supply chain requires healthy farmers and farming communities, and improving their diets is an important contribution to achieving that.


What we are doing

In 2019, we developed tailored pilot programs to address the issues of nutrition, food shortages and household income in Kenya, Mexico, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire and the Philippines. Read more about it in our 2019 progress report.

By 2020

Improve food availability and dietary diversity in five priority sourcing locations, based on the results of the Rural Development Framework baselines

Demonstrating our commitment

Boosting kitchen gardens and food preservation in Kenya

In Kenya, we have focused since 2016 on increasing access to fresh and diverse foods for our coffee-farming communities. This has been actioned through fostering kitchen gardens, vegetable seed provision, and agronomy support. This has included the promotion of nutritious vegetables that are more resilient to climate change and extended dry seasons, such as amaranth and spider plant. Our program includes providing nutrition training and cooking classes for couples. 

During 2019, we made plans to expand this program to cover methods to ensure a value can be given to excess produce. We have two approaches planned for 2020: agripreneurship training to link farmers to local food markets and waste reduction through introducing small-scale preservation methods for fresh foods, which farmers can either consume themselves or sell through local markets.

Tackling food insecurity in the Philippines

Land availability is a major issue for farmers in the Philippines. Average land size is 1.0–1.5 hectares. In some areas, such as Kuden in Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao, farmers are usually heavily reliant on coffee for income. 

To address this, in October 2016 we launched the creation of 150 demonstration farms, each of which was just 0.5 hectares. The farms were used to show how the use of fertilizer, vermicomposting, forest trees and all-weather dryer could boost productivity, and how multiple crops could be grown to increase income and diversify income streams. These farms have been able to inspire local farmers to adopt these practices and make positive changes on their own farms.  



Supporting coffee communities’ food banks in Mexico

To help Mexican coffee farmers and their families manage during periods of food inadequacy, we worked with the Bancos de Alimentos de México (BAMX) to support food banks in three locations: Veracruz, Puebla and Chiapas. In 2019, we donated 435 000 kg of food, including dairy, protein, vegetables and grain, benefiting 8553 households in 94 communities.

Nutritional information materials designed to increase dietary diversity, improve nutrition and eating habits, monitor physical development and create better cooking practices were distributed to communities through flyers and workshops.

We also implemented an Impact Evaluation to measure results, particularly on mothers and young children, including a food behavior survey, and measurements of weight, size, and haemoglobin and glucose levels.

Providing clean water in Indonesia

Sanitation has been shown to be intrinsically linked to nutritional outcomes. In Indonesia, poor sanitation and access to clean water are potential barriers to improving nutrition. In partnership with a local NGO, we designed a community-based approach to support cocoa growers in Guliling village and engaged local government to support the village’s action plan. A water management group was established to manage daily operations, including maintenance of the infrastructure. This program has now been extended to cover local dairy areas. To date, the program has delivered eight clean water access points in four districts, benefiting 2123 households, and 180 safe sanitation access points across two districts.

Empowering women in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, one of Nestlé’s main cocoa-sourcing locations, a lack of dietary diversity means that 65% of women do not consume sufficient nutrient-dense food groups. However, there are also underlying issues with child labor and a lack of female empowerment. We are focusing on addressing these challenges by helping women set up businesses and children get into schools.

The One nutrition project is run in partnership with the Farmstrong Foundation. Through this project, we are helping women to build greenhouses, which can be used to create new, women-led businesses supplying vegetables to local schools and markets.

Read more about our work to support cocoa-growing communities and women in these communities.

Download our Creating Shared Value Progress Report

See performance and reporting
Creating Shared Value Progress Report