Nestlé celebrates 150 Years of ‘Good Food, Good Life’
From drinking your first Milo, waking up to a bowl of Golden Morn, having a break with a cup of Nescafé or watching your mum cook a nutritious lunch or dinner with Maggi, Nestlé food and beverages have touched most of us throughout our lives.
This household name, founded on an infant food product Henri Nestlé invented, farine lactée, which saved the life of a child, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
Today Nestlé employs nearly 340,000 people and operates in over 197 countries, including the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR) for nearly six decades.
“This year as Nestlé turns 150, while also marking nearly 100 years in Africa, it is with real excitement that we in Central & West Africa Region celebrate this anniversary, having been a part of Nestlé’s history since 1957,” said Kais Marzouki, Market Head for Nestlé CWAR. “To this day, we instill and embrace Henri Nestlé’s values and will continue to provide good nutrition and promote healthy lifestyles to millions of people across the region.”
Established in CWAR
In 1957, Nestlé began trading and distributing its products in Central and West Africa first in Ghana then, in 1959, the company built its Nescafé factory in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and expanded its operations to Senegal, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Nestlé CWAR is now headquartered in Accra, Ghana, where it oversees the company’s operations in 22 countries in the region. It runs eight factories and employs over 6,700 people directly plus suppliers, distributors and transporters.
Since Nestlé was founded, people have been at the core of its priorities.
The company has impacted on thousands of children through its Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme, which is already active in Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Senegal. In 2015, over 81,000 children were reached in the region.
In addition, Nestlé waters business in Nigeria, provided water and hygiene education to 6000 children.
Nestlé is also developing fortified products to address the region’s most widespread micronutrient deficiencies. Brands such as Maggi, Milo, Nido and Golden Morn are fortified with micronutrients that would otherwise be missing from people’s diets, such as iron and iodine. In 2015, it delivered 58 billion servings of fortified food and beverages in Central and West Africa.
As part of its work at the Nestlé Research and Development Centre in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the company is using conventionally bred crops that are rich in micronutrients, and are crossing-breeding them with high-yield varieties to produce high-yielding nutritious crops as ingredients in its products, encouraging a positive impact on people’s nutrition.
Communities in the region are also benefiting from Nestlé’s partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to improve access to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. To date, nearly 285,000 Ivorians have been reached, of whom 163,000 have received hygiene awareness training.
Investing in society
Nestlé CWAR is continuing to make an impact in the region by working with its partners and suppliers such as farmers.
The company has been investing in the rural communities to develop the sourcing of local raw material. In 2015, it trained over 86,000 farmers in food safety, good agricultural practices, in cocoa, coffee and grains sectors to run profitable farms and improve their social conditions, while allowing the company to source high quality.
Thanks to the Nestlé Grains Quality Improvement Project in 2015, about 15,000 farmers in Ghana and their families were trained about the health effects of mycotoxins and the measures needed to prevent them.
As part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan , Nestlé has built or refurbished 42 schools with the World Cocoa Foundation in Côte d’Ivoire, supporting 11,000 children whom 3000 attending school for the first time in Côte d’Ivoire.
Supporting employees and youth
Nestlé is also supporting employees and young people through its initiatives and activities.
The company launched the Nestlé CWAR Parental Policy in 2015 to support employees and their children in all its sites across the region. The policy – which reinforces Nestlé’s support for the World Health Organization’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life – will offer all employees who are primary caregivers of their newborns, including fathers and adoptive parents, new measures such as maternity leave up to six months, by the end of 2016.
Nestlé recently announced at its seventh Creating Shared Value (CSV) Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire that it will create more than 3,000 apprenticeships and traineeships opportunities, and provide readiness-for-work training for over 300,000 young people in African countries by 2018.
The company continues to back youth entrepreneurship through its ‘My Own Business’ (MYOWBU) street-vending programme and ‘pushcart’ initiative, led by its out-of-home business Nestlé Professional, providing young people and adults across Africa with the skills and expertise they need to run their own successful small businesses.
Nestlé is also helping young people to develop skills in different areas of manufacturing engineering at its Technical Training Centre in Agbara, Nigeria. In 2015, 26 students completed the four-month training, out of which 21 started employment with Nestlé Nigeria.