Nestlé is laying out its latest plans to support and accelerate the transition to a regenerative food system – one that aims to protect and restore the environment, improve the livelihoods of farmers and enhance the well-being of farming communities.
The Swiss food giant will work with its food system partners, including its network of more than 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers, to advance regenerative farming practices at the heart of the food system.
The company will also initiate new programs to help address the social and economic challenges of the transition.
The announcement is being made in the lead-up to the UN Food Systems Summit in New York as part of Nestle’s contribution to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. It also follows the recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shows the climate crisis is intensifying.
“We know that regenerative agriculture plays a critical role in improving soil health, restoring water cycles and increasing biodiversity for the long term,” says Paul Bulcke, chairman of Nestlé.
“These outcomes form the foundation of sustainable food production and, crucially, also contribute to achieving our ambitious climate targets.”
Good for the environment
Nestlé is a signatory of the UN Business Ambition for the 1.5°C pledge and was one of the first companies to share its detailed, time-bound climate plan in December 2020. The company is taking measures to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.
“With our long-standing partnerships with farming communities globally, we want to increase our support for farming practices that are good for the environment and good for people,” adds Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO.
“In the spirit of enabling a just transition, it is vital that we support farmers around the world that take on the risks and costs associated with the move toward regenerative agriculture.”
Nestlé is investing CHF 1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) over the next five years to spark regenerative agriculture across the company’s supply chain, using three primary levers to help farmers adopt regenerative practices, including; apply science and technology, providing technical assistance and paying premiums for regenerative agriculture goods.
Nestlé published the most important regenerative farming practices, including enhancement of biodiversity, soil conservation, regeneration of water cycles and integration of livestock. Agriculture accounts for nearly two-thirds of Nestlé’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with dairy and livestock producing about half of that.
The company will start working with 30 reference dairy farms in 12 countries to test scalable, climate-friendly and regenerative agricultural practices that help achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Further, Nestlé is working with farmers to select and cultivate nutritious and tasty pulse varieties as milk alternatives.
Supporting farming communities
Regenerative agriculture contributes to a regenerative food system, which should be fair and transparent for all.
Furthermore, Nestlé will implement new living income programs for farmers in its value chain to make farming more attractive. Later this year, Nestlé will unveil specific plans for its coffee and cocoa supply chains.
Nestlé is also launching a new training platform in November to attract and train the next generation of farmers.
Last month, Nestlé inaugurated its largest R+D Accelerator in a bid to accelerate “the translation of fundamental science into cross-category innovations” with rapid speed to market.
Meanwhile, Barry Callebaut recently launched a scorecard to define and develop sustainable practices in coconut production and address “untackled challenges” across the sector, together with Nestlé and Proforest.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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