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Our raw materials

People increasingly want to know where their food comes from and how it’s made. Our system of responsible sourcing helps answer those questions, while ensuring that our business sits on sustainable and ethical foundations.

What responsible sourcing looks like at Nestlé

Around the world, we work with over 700 000 farmers directly, and with many others through our supply chain. All these farmers and workers are crucial to our company, but it can be difficult to fully understand the complex supply chains that connect us.

We’re dedicated to achieving transparency and traceability within our business, and we’re focusing on the 14 raw materials that are most important to us. To us, responsible sourcing means paying attention to critical social, environmental, economic and animal welfare issues when obtaining raw ingredients. We’ve developed detailed requirements (pdf, 2Mb) to help us meet these standards.

Earlier this year, we decided to disclose the list of suppliers alongside a variety of data of our priority raw materials that are part of our Responsible Sourcing program. This is the first disclosure of its kind in the industry and aims at increasing transparency in the agri-food sector. This covers 95 percent of our company’s annual sourcing of raw materials.

Find our detailed supply chain disclosure list

responsible sourcing

Find out more about our responsible sourcing at Nestlé.

 

Our 14 key raw materials

Raw materials - coffee
Raw materials - coffee

Coffee

Through programs like the Nescafé Plan and the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, we sourced 57% of our total coffee responsibly in 2018, and 57% was traceable.

Raw materials - cocoa
Raw materials - cocoa

Cocoa

One of our most important ingredients is cocoa, and we’re sourcing more and more of it through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. In 2018, 49% of our cocoa purchased was responsibly sourced, and 49% was traceable.

Raw materials - dairy
Raw materials - dairy

Dairy

Dairy is our single biggest category by volume, and we source it from both small-scale and large-scale producers all around the world. In 2018, 80% of our total dairy was responsibly sourced, and 86.3% was traceable.

Raw materials - palm oil
Raw materials - palm oil

Palm oil

We’re dedicated to using 100% responsibly sourced palm oil by 2020 and are making steady progress toward that goal. In 2018, 64%* of our total palm oil purchased was responsibly sourced, and 54%* was traceable.

Raw materials - pulp and paper
Raw materials - pulp and paper

Pulp and paper

Pulp and paper are used for everything from food packaging and transportation to marketing materials. In 2018, 90% of our total pulp and paper purchased was responsibly sourced, and 50% was from recycled material.

Raw materials - soya
Raw materials - soya

Soya

In 2018, we sourced around 477 000 tonnes (direct soy) tonnes of soya. 75% of this was responsibly sourced, and 78% was traceable to its source.

Raw materials - sugar
Raw materials - sugar

Sugar

Used across many of our products, sugar is a key ingredient. In 2018, 61% of our total sugar purchased was responsibly sourced, and 80.5% was traceable to its source.

Raw materials - cereals grains
Raw materials - cereals grains

Cereals and grains

Cereal is a relatively new addition to our list of key raw materials, but we’ve already made progress. In 2018, 31.6% of our total cereals purchased was responsibly sourced, and 36.2% was traceable to its source.

Raw materials - hazelnuts
Raw materials - hazelnuts

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are an important ingredient for us, and we source about 3895 tonnes annually. In 2018, 80% of our total hazelnuts purchased was responsibly sourced, and 90% was traceable.

Raw materials - vanilla
Raw materials - vanilla

Vanilla

Natural vanilla flavor is used in many of our products, and we’re proud of responsibly sourcing 89.4% of our total vanilla in 2018, while 99.5% was traceable to its source.

Raw materials - meat, poultry, eggs
Raw materials - meat, poultry, eggs

Meat, poultry and eggs

Our meat, poultry and eggs are sourced from many suppliers around the world in a particularly complex supply chain. In 2018, 23.9% of our total meat, poultry and eggs purchased was responsibly sourced, and 32.5% was traceable.

Raw materials - fish seafood
Raw materials - fish seafood

Fish and seafood

Fish is a precious resource for the planet and many people. In 2018, 42% of our total fish purchased was responsibly sourced, and 99% was traceable to its source.

Raw materials - vegetables
Raw materials - vegetables

Vegetables

Vegetables are an increasingly important raw material for us, as their role within our products portfolio becomes central. In 2018, 74% ** of our total vegetables volume purchased was responsibly sourced, and 70% ** was traceable to its source.

Raw materials - spices
Raw materials - spices

Spices

Spices are crucial to many of our products, though we are not a major purchaser. We have set objectives to monitor our progress and will report results in 2019.

* In 2018, the proportion of palm oil we purchased that was responsibly sourced was greater than the amount that was traceable. This is because some of the volume purchased was RSPO certified or came under ‘Action Plan palm oil’, but could not be traced back to specific coordinates on a plantation.

** The scope of the program and KPIs currently encompasses processed vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, onions and carrots) supplied to Nestlé food factories in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. This scope will increase every year.

Farmer Connect

Our unique program Farmer Connect is at the heart of our efforts to responsibly source ingredients. By connecting us directly with farmers, it helps us ensure the supply of high-quality agricultural raw materials while providing traceability all the way to farm level.

We work directly with more than 716 000 farmers worldwide to source raw materials for our products. Through Farmer Connect, we are designing programs to help these farmers address the challenges they’re facing – in particular, we’re supporting women farmers and their families to improve food availability and diversity. These programs involve training farmers on nutrition-related activities, promoting intercropping (growing two or more crops on one field), and developing and maintaining kitchen gardens and livestock.

Our activities have enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of what our suppliers and farmers need. This enables us to measure the program’s impact and adopt a more comprehensive approach – this is our Theory of Change.


Find out more

CSV - Linkbox - Our model for impact
CSV - Linkbox - Our model for impact

Delivering impact through Farmer Connect

Our Theory of Change helps us understand the needs of farmers and drive change in a targeted way.

CSV - Linkbox - Human rights
CSV - Linkbox - Human rights

Respecting and promoting human rights

We aim to be exemplary in respecting human rights and labor practices throughout our business.

csv

Our 36 commitments

Our global scale enables us to meaningfully improve lives around the world, from providing more access to nutritious foods to helping communities generate and grow sustainable livelihoods.

Download our Creating Shared Value report