Our commitment: Improve farm economics among the farmers who supply us
We aim to work with farmers to achieve safe, quality raw materials, and keep young and talented farmers in the business. One of the key drivers behind this is farm economics – if farms do not generate enough income, they will not retain young farmers. We therefore need to work with farmers to understand their businesses and their margins to help them grow, by focusing on quality and improving production. Through this, and our agripreneurship initiative, we aim to encourage and retain the next generation of farmers, which is essential to securing our supply.
Our objective towards 2020
By 2020: Improve farm economics in seven priority sourcing locations based on the results of the RDF baselines. (Farm economics comprises the following four factors on which Nestlé will focus: productivity, quality, costs and price premiums.)
Our progress to date
We remain on track to meet our 2020 objective. In 2016, we continued to learn about the key issues involved, such as the importance of improving farmers’ nutrition and alleviating poverty. Through programmes such as the Nescafé Plan and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, we launched or implemented a range of projects and activities, including new initiatives to support women in agriculture. Among numerous projects were:
- In Côte d’Ivoire, 175 women farmers were supported by the setting up of two new women’s forums to give them a voice and address grievances;
- In Ecuador, 30 participants, mostly women, were trained in chocolate making, enabling them to gain new skills and develop an additional income source; and
- Also in Ecuador, 26 farmers, including 22 women, participated in a project to develop agritourism on their farms to create a new income stream.
Agripreneurship is an approach we have formalised to accelerate the development of farmers to nurture their farming skills, competencies and business management. Agripreneurship particularly addresses farmers who are operating in our Farmer Connect and direct sourcing operations. It helps foster sustainable intensification of agriculture, making best use of good agricultural practices and excellence in farming operations. Agripreneurship contributes to developing competitive and sustainable growth-oriented farming business models.
Agripreneurship applies to both large- and small-scale farmers – what is more important is having an entrepreneurial mindset and attitude, and a proven record in farm management. Our aim is to accelerate the development of agripreneurs – capable, willing and ambitious farmers running profitable businesses and complying with Nestlé’s quality, safety and responsible sourcing standards. We believe agripreneurship produces social and economic benefits for farmers, empowers and enables them to embrace sustainable farming methods, and most importantly, allows them to farm by choice. It intends to create viable career opportunities for young, talented professionals who want to work in agriculture.