The company will work with its network of more than 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, soil conservation, regeneration of water cycles and integration of livestock. The company also will initiate new programs to help address the social and economic challenges of the transition.
The regeneration efforts, launching as ‘Generation Regeneration’ focused on farmers, youth, consumers and its own employees, will center on three primary areas to help farmers adopt regenerative practices:
- Apply state-of-the-art science and technology, provide technical assistance: Leveraging its vast network of R&D experts and agronomists, Nestlé is, for example, developing higher-yielding coffee and cocoa varieties with lower environmental impact and assessing novel solutions to reduce emissions in the dairy supply chain. Nestlé will also offer agricultural training and help farmers exchange information and best practices that can be adapted locally.
- Offer investment support: The transition to regenerative agriculture comes with initial risks and new costs. Nestlé will support farmers by co-investing with them, facilitating lending or helping them obtain loans for specific equipment. The company will also work with partners to fund pilot projects to test and learn how best to advance regenerative agriculture.
- Pay premiums for regenerative agriculture goods: Nestlé will offer premiums for many raw materials produced using regenerative agriculture practices and buy bigger quantities. This means rewarding farmers not only for the quantity and quality of ingredients, but also for the benefits they provide to the environment through soil protection, water management and carbon sequestration.
The announcement comes ahead of the Sept. 23 UN Food Systems Summit in New York, as part of Nestlé’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,” said Paul Bulcke, chairman, Nestlé. “These outcomes form the foundation of sustainable food production and, crucially, also contribute to achieving our ambitious climate targets.”
Nestlé is a signatory of the UN Business Ambition for 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.