Nestlé’s Maggi Cooking Caravans are travelling through Central and West Africa to provide nutritional expertise, culinary hygiene advice and healthy eating cooking tips to consumers and ‘Maggi mammies’.
Nearly 3.7 million consumers, of whom over one million are Maggi mammies – women sellers in the open market – in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal, are learning about balanced nutrition and cooking safety.
They are doing this through interactive cooking demonstrations, women’s forums, group discussions and presentations on micronutrient fortification to combat the prevalent global problem of micronutrient deficiency, in which children and women of childbearing age are particularly at risk.
In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, more than 15,000 Maggi mammies are currently selling iodised salt and iron Maggi bouillons and spices for Nestlé.
As part of the Maggi Loyalty Programme, the company funds training for Maggi mammies on the importance of good nutrition, balanced diets and cooking hygiene. In turn, they then pass on this knowledge to consumers.
As well as helping to improve people’s nutrition through fortified Maggi products, it also provides Maggi mammies with financial independence. In some countries like Côte d’Ivoire, they benefit from services like vaccinations and literacy programmes.
Saly Kone, a mother-of-one who works in Abobo market in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, is one of the thousands of Maggi mammies who are involved in the programme.
She started her own business about 17 years ago as a spice seller and began selling Maggi tablets to help her new and existing customers get better nutrition. Due to its success, she took over the family business.
“Today I make enough to have financial independence and take care of my daughter on my own,” said Saly.
“My wish is to be able to give her access to full time education,” she added.