Global supply chains employ ~450 million (M) people11. Farmers are part of society's most vulnerable group, often facing food and wage insecurity and making most of the world's poor and undernourished12. Good supply chain practices provide better-earning prospects, & build better communities13;p6.
Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, has been empowering farmers as far back as 20094 8;p2,13. The company works directly with 550,000 farmers in its "Farmer Connect Program", providing entrepreneurial training to 400,000 each year, which represents 57% of all Nestlé's supply chain farmers3,6;p26. The program provides farmers with sustainable farming skills that allow them to assess material issues like soil health, and biodiversity while reducing their carbon footprint. It also provides farm economics training, attracting young farmers and reducing food insecurity while improving nutrition6;p25, 26.
Nestlé's cocoa plan, on the other hand, assists farmers in Africa in the production of food crops & in raising livestock8;p14,19. Its Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) scheme has helped 6,690 women save & manage their own business, increasing by 5% their land ownership and involving them in decision making8;p14.
Terrafertil, a controlled entity of Nestle since 2018, collaborates with small farmers in Colombia and Ecuador, offering them training and stable incomes by guaranteeing crop purchases at fixed prices10;p8,9. In 2019, they provided $1.94Mn in additional farmer incomes, further including women farmers in farmer association leadership9,10;p10.
Nestlé also set in place a Milk District Model in developing countries, offering free vet services and technical animal husbandry support as well as $25Mn in microfinance loans to more than 296,000 farmers, ultimately alleviating poverty5.
Overall, Nestle is continuously working with farmers in its supply chain to help them achieve sustainable livelihoods, increase productivity and reduce poverty.
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