Nestlé joins call to accelerate food security at G20 summit

Posted: 18 June 2012 | Nestlé | No comments yet

Nestlé has joined other leading fast-moving consumer goods companies…

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Nestlé has joined other leading fast-moving consumer goods companies in calling for increased public and private sector investment to accelerate food security programmes worldwide.

The company is a member of the Business 20 (B20) Task Force on Food Security, which has set out actions to increase agricultural production and productivity by 50% by 2030, while improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

Paul Bulcke, Nestlé’s Chief Executive Officer, attended a meeting of the Task Force at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, along with leaders from other businesses and international non-government organisations.

Available food, affordable prices

“We need to strengthen research for efficiently produced, healthy food, while ensuring the availability of food at affordable prices,” said Mr Bulcke.

“This includes improving logistics, infrastructure, and transportation systems to ensure those who need food are supplied with it.

“You can count on Nestlé’s continued support,” he continued. “This is part of our approach to business we call ‘Creating Shared Value’, which aims to create value for our shareholders and for the communities where we operate.”

Mr Bulcke went on to say that to ensure food security, agriculture must also play a vital role in helping to address the urgent issue of water scarcity.

He cited research suggesting that if present trends continue, the livelihoods of one third of the global population will be affected by water scarcity by 2020, with annual water losses equivalent to that needed to grow 30% of our global grain crop.

Role of farmers

The Task Force on Food Security calls for farmers to be placed at the centre of multi-stakeholder efforts to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability, and food security.

It says developing new opportunities for small scale farmers will require a shift from simply providing them with aid, to encouraging them to become more entrepreneurial.

According to the Task Force, this will require the creation of stronger national agriculture and food security programmes, supported by national level public-private partnerships.

‘New Vision for Agriculture’

The kinds of partnerships championed by the Task Force are already being piloted in 11 countries as part of the World Economic Forum’s ‘New Vision for Agriculture’ initiative, of which Nestlé is also a member.

The Task Force on Food Security has based its action points on the goals laid out by the New Vision for Agriculture.

The initiative emphasises the links between food security, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity.

Increased investment

The business sectors represented by the Task Force on Food Security plan to invest an additional USD 10-15 billion in agriculture by 2030.

These investments will be designed to expand access to market for between three to five million smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers, while ensuring the sustainable use of resources.

The Task Force also stressed the need for governments’ investment to help improve essential infrastructure and services, boost productivity, and reduce waste.

Nestlé and agricultural development

Worldwide, Nestlé is committed to helping strengthen the links between farmers and markets. Over the past 12 years the company has continuously increased its work with farmers in sustainable agriculture practices.

In 2010, Nestlé provided more than USD 45 million (over CHF 48 million) in financial assistance, without conditions or obligation, to more than 32,000 farmers.

In Mexico for example, the company’s dairy factory in Mezquite provides farmers with technical assistance and training in animal breeding, improved animal feeding and techniques to increase production. In turn Nestlé receives a reliable source of high quality milk.

In 2010 the company launched the Nescafé Plan in Mexico City. The ten-year, worldwide, CHF 350 million initiative brings together the company’s commitments on coffee farming, production and consumption.

It will see Nestlé double the amount of coffee it buys directly from farmers and their associations by 2015.

Business 20

The Business 20 (B20) is an event that takes place as part of the G20 Summit. It is designed to represent the shared views of the international business community.

Its main purpose is to develop recommendations and issue relevant commitments from business leaders and business organisations to address some of the most important current economic issues.

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