Nestlé has today reported significant progress in its efforts to help end deforestation and restore forests in its cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The company has published its Cocoa & Forests Initiative report (pdf, 17Mb), highlighting key milestones achieved. In 2017, Nestlé joined the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to contribute to ending deforestation. The partnership brings together the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana with the cocoa and chocolate industry. In March 2019, Nestlé released a detailed plan (pdf, 860Kb) to support these collective efforts and act in its Nestlé Cocoa Plan supply chain.
Over the past months, Nestlé has mapped over 75% of the 120,000 cocoa farms it sources from in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The boundaries of the plantations have been identified with Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers, ensuring that none of them are located in protected forests. By October this year, all remaining farms will be mapped in the two countries.
Nestlé has scaled up the number of native forest and fruit trees it has distributed in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, from 32,000 in 2018 to now reach a total of more than 560,000. These cast shade on cocoa trees making farms more climate-resilient, while the fruit trees provide additional income for cocoa farmers. The company has also kicked off two agroforestry projects, working closely with communities to maximize shade tree density on farms to help improve yields. Nestlé has continued to train farmers on good agricultural practices and forest protection. Over 85,000 farmers participated in the training program in 2019.
To reduce pressure on forests and help improve family health, Nestlé has distributed over 800 more efficient and less polluting cookstoves. The company has contributed to financial support through the creation of village savings and loan associations for over 9,400 people in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. They can take loans when needed, for example, to finance small business opportunities, with funds returned at the end of the year.
Alexander von Maillot, Senior Vice President, Head of Confectionery Strategic Business Unit, Nestlé S.A., said: "We have made good progress across all the primary objectives we set out under our Cocoa & Forests Initiative action plan. Sustainable cocoa requires thriving communities. Our actions take into account the need to balance forest protection and communities' livelihoods. As we forge ahead with our efforts to embed sustainability in the cocoa sector, we will continue to focus on providing farmers with viable alternatives to grow the same amount or even more cocoa on less land."
At Nestlé, we care deeply for people and for the communities in which we operate, and we have an essential role to play during the COVID-19 crisis. Food and beverages help keep people healthy and enhance their quality of life. We care about our responsibility to provide good nutrition, especially for the most vulnerable in society – children, the elderly and those struggling with illness.
We would like to assure our customers and consumers that we will continue to produce and deliver products to meet global demand. Our people are fully committed and are working tirelessly to ensure that supply is maintained. We have put enhanced safety measures in place at all sites, with particular focus on frontline workers in Nestlé factories, quality labs and distribution centers. We are offering additional support to staff affected by the crisis, including generous sick leave arrangements, financial support and a guarantee of full pay for a minimum of 12 weeks for hourly and salaried staff affected by temporary stoppages.
Since the very beginning of this crisis, our people have led substantial local relief efforts in the communities around the globe where we operate. That includes working very closely with physicians to develop new tailored COVID-19 medical nutrition and supplement treatment protocols. It also includes donations to food banks and food delivery organizations, and prompt and pragmatic support to our business partners, for example in our supply chains. Efforts are continuing - and stepping up - around the world.
Building on these efforts, Nestlé is joining forces with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in response to its emergency appeal. Nestlé and the IFRC will work together to provide urgent help for emergency services and caregivers and strengthen healthcare systems. This includes donations of food, medical nutrition and bottled water; Nestlé logistics support for IFRC operations; a Nestlé donation of CHF 10 million for immediate deployment in countries where it is most needed; and donation matching 1:1 any donations to the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies or Federation made by Nestlé employees.
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The Board of Directors of Nestlé S.A. has confirmed that the Nestlé Annual General Meeting will take place as planned on April 23, 2020. This is to ensure the continued smooth functioning of the Group and will allow for the timely payment of the dividend.
Out of concern for people’s health and in accordance with article 6a of COVID-19 Ordinance 2 of the Federal Council of March 16, 2020, shareholders will not be allowed to attend in person.
Shareholders remain fully able to exercise their voting rights through the Independent Representative Hartmann Dreyer, Attorneys-at-law. Voting instructions can be given to the Independent Representative in writing or via the electronic shareholder portal.
The Board regrets the unusual circumstances of the meeting in these extraordinary times.
Find more information on the AGM.
Nestlé today published its Annual Report for 2019. The Annual Report contains Nestlé’s Annual Review including Creating Shared Value highlights. It also contains the Corporate Governance & Compensation Reports and the Financial Statements, which were first published on February 13, 2020, and remain unchanged.
Nestlé saw strong progress in 2019, with significant improvements in key operating and financial metrics. Innovation continues to give Nestlé a competitive advantage. In order to keep pace with rapidly-changing consumer preferences, the company has changed its approach to innovation. It has made processes quicker, enhanced rapid prototyping and created accelerators.
Alongside a strong innovation engine, digitalization is a key ingredient to continued business success. Digitalization touches on all aspects of Nestlé’s business, from supply chain management to production to marketing and sales. For example, e-commerce sales grew by 18.5% to account for 8.5% of total sales in 2019, firmly establishing Nestlé at the leading edge of the food and beverage industry.
In 2019, Nestlé also continued to demonstrate that business can be a force for good, making a real contribution to society and helping to find solutions to global challenges. Nestlé accelerated its climate change efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy, with a pledge to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Moreover, Nestlé adopted the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. The company will continue to work with others to mitigate and adapt to risks associated with climate change. Nestlé also continued to work towards a waste-free future, inaugurating its Institute of Packaging Sciences and deploying more sustainable packaging across its product portfolio.
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As the situation around the world with regards to COVID-19 continues to evolve, CEO Mark Schneider has sent a message to Nestlé employees.
Mark thanks all Nestlé employees around the world for their efforts to weather this crisis and get the company prepared to cope with the situation. He emphasizes that a company like Nestlé has a special responsibility at this time. Food and beverage products are essential to peoples’ lives.
As people are including more plant-based alternatives in their diet, Nestlé is launching plant-based versions of some of its most-loved global brands.
That now includes the world’s leading cocoa malt beverage, Milo.
Nestlé Australia is introducing a plant-based version of the famous powder that was first introduced in 1934.
The new Milo replaces milk powder with soy and oats. The core ingredients are the same as the original Milo – malt, barley and cocoa. The Milo development team worked hard to make sure it kept the same unmistakable choc-malt taste and iconic crunch that that Australians have grown up with.
The product is also lower in sugar compared to original Milo and has a combination of vitamins and minerals to support effective energy release. The new Milo gives people a plant-based option, alongside the original, reduced-sugar and extra protein versions.
Trevor Clayton, head of the Dairy business unit at Nestlé, said: "People are looking to vary their diets with more plant-based options, including to lower their environmental footprint and for health reasons. We already have some great plant-based products and are now adding one of our biggest global brands with Milo. We’re continuing to make good on our promise to offer consumers food that is right for them and right for the planet."
The new Milo follows on from other recent launches of plant-based beverages. Nestlé in Brazil introduced oat- and pea-based Ninho Forti + on shelves from December 2019, in a ready-to-drink carton with a paper straw. The United States saw the launch of Nesquik GoodNes in January, based on oat and pea protein with the great chocolate milk flavor of Nesquik.
Nestlé is using all its expertise in plant-based protein as well as in dairy to make sure the new drinks are high in nutritional value and taste delicious. Globally, the company has around 300 R&D scientists, engineers and product developers located in eight R&D centers that are dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products. This includes its center in Konolfingen, Switzerland, that specializes in dairy.
The need for plant-based dairy alternatives that taste great and offer strong nutritionals is rising, as more families are following a flexitarian diet that is lighter on meat and dairy products. Many consumers cite environmental reasons, as plant-based products are produced with lower emissions, land- and water usage.
Nestlé has stepped up its focus on providing more nutritious options for children, with Nestlé for Healthier Kids program. The two focus areas are accelerating the healthy transformation of Nestlé's product portfolio in line with WHO recommendations, and inspiring healthier eating with supportive programs and services.
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Nestlé today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind, single-material pouch for its baby food products designed for the future of recycling.
In the U.S., the new pouch will be available exclusively on TheGerberStore.com for Gerber's Organic Banana Mango Puree beginning in May 2020. It will be 100% recyclable through Gerber's national recycling program with TerraCycle.
In Finland, the pouch will be available for Piltti's Apple Pear Blueberry Raspberry widely sold in supermarkets.
Thierry Philardeau, Head of the Nutrition Strategic Business Unit, Nestlé said: "We are proud to have found a solution for the recyclability of baby food pouches. We began in the U.S. and Finland for two product variants, and we aim to gradually extend the use of single-material pouch to our baby food pouches range globally."
This is in line with Nestlé's commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The newly designed-to-be-recyclable pouch is made from polypropylene (PP), a versatile form of plastic available commercially. This switch is expected to make more plastics infinitely recyclable and increase the value of the material for the recycling industry.
"This launch is an important milestone on how we execute our ambition to create a wider market for recycled plastics that are safe for food. We will continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the infrastructure needed to recycle matches material innovation," added Thierry Philardeau.
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Nestlé today announced it will plant at least three million trees in key sourcing locations in the Americas by 2021. It is the initial phase of a broader reforestation initiative, which forms part of the company’s plan to scale up actions in agriculture and deploy nature-based solutions to absorb more carbon. This move will help transform Nestlé's supply chain, making it more resilient. It will also contribute to achieving its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions pledge by 2050.
To this end, Nestlé has partnered with One Tree Planted (OTP) – a non-profit environmental charity with a focus on global reforestation to restore forests and protect habitat for biodiversity. Together with OTP, and its associated partner, the World Resources Institute, Nestlé will select specific planting locations where palm, soya, paper, coffee, or coconut are grown, and where precious ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, peatlands or mangroves can be restored. This selection process will aid restoration efforts in degraded landscapes while protecting existing high conservation value areas.
Beginning in March 2020, Nestlé will start planting trees in Brazil and Mexico.
"Achieving our net-zero ambition requires that we transform how we do business. Together with our suppliers we will restore land, improve the management of our supply chain and, as a result, better manage greenhouse gas emissions. This investment will lead to enhanced biodiversity and the regeneration of ecosystems we depend upon in the Americas," said Laurent Freixe, CEO of Zone Americas at Nestlé.
"Our goal is not to compensate the emissions but truly adopt nature-based solutions that we are deploying as part of our pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050. Planting trees not only captures carbon but also helps rebuild forests and communities, protect threatened and endangered biodiversity, promote soil nutrients, and conserve water – all of which help increase the resilience of farmers," said Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations at Nestlé. "Reforestation also complements our commitment to halt deforestation in our supply chains. Tackling climate change requires multiple solutions."
The reforestation initiative builds on Nestlé’s existing actions, such as the agroforestry program initiated in 2014 under the Nespresso AAA Sustainable QualityTM Program, whose goal is to plant five million trees in the Nespresso's coffee supply chain by end 2020. Last year, the program was deployed across Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Uganda.
Nestlé will expand the reforestation activities to Africa, Asia, and Oceania, with a focus on sourcing locations vulnerable to the adverse effect of climate change.