Nestlé announced three new company initiatives aimed at creating new partnerships with governments, NGOs and small enterprises. The announcement comes as Nestlé launches a two-day forum on Creating Shared Value in New York in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations. The initiatives include an expanded education programme focused on nutrition, health and wellness for school age children around the world, a research and development centre in Africa, and a new Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value, awarded every other year to foster innovative approaches to solve problems of nutrition, water and rural development.
The new initiatives are related to Nestlé’s basic business strategy of nutrition, health, and wellness. Creating value for the public in terms of better nutrition, water, and food production is key to Nestlé building a sustainable business in the long-term. It makes a fundamental connection between shareholder value and community value.
As a first new initiative, the Company is launching the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme. Nestlé intends to double the number of countries in which it has nutrition and physical activity education projects by the end of 2011, bringing such schemes to over 100 countries where it operates. This new global programme addresses some of the world’s most complex challenges today – both malnutrition and increasing obesity rates, particularly among school-age children.
Secondly, the opening of the Abidjan Research & Development Centre in Côte d’Ivoire. The R&D Centre’s new research programmes will help to increase agricultural productivity and the safety of foods by developing and improving local crops - such as manioc, corn, millet, coffee and cocoa - and cereal-based products in the West African region.
A third initiative, the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value, provides financial support of up to CHF 500,000 (USD 461,000) to individuals, NGOs, or small enterprises offering innovative solutions to nutritional deficiencies, access to clean water, or progress in rural development. Nestlé will award the prize every two years.
Over decades, Nestlé has worked with millions of milk and coffee farmers to make them better suppliers, and in doing so, has helped them out of poverty and to prosper. Today, Nestlé works directly with almost 600,000 farmers throughout the world, providing around CHF 30 million (over USD 27 million) worth of microfinance in 2008. About 2.4 million people in developing countries earn their livelihoods from the Nestlé supply chain.
Click here to learn more about the initiatives.