Developing local suppliers
One of the ways we are sourcing agricultural raw materials is through the Nestlé Grains Quality Improvement Project (GQIP).
It was launched in 2008 in Nigeria and Ghana in collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to:
• Improve the quality and safety of grains to meet the increasing demands of Nestlé cereal factories in the region by reducing the high levels of mycotoxins, a fungal-based toxic compound which can cause serious health problems.
• Reduce the impact of global food shortages on cereal grain quality and prices.
• Lessen the dependence on imported raw materials.
• Improve the overall health of rural communities
through the consumption of good quality and safe grains.
• Reduce waste from field to factory.
As part of the GQIP, we are teaching farmers simple methods through good agricultural and storage practices to manage grain quality and safety.
Since 2013, a mobile cinema has travelled through Ghanaian villages to screen a soap opera created by Nestlé that reinforces the messages the farmers had received during the training.
More than 39,000 farmers and their families were trained and educated in 2015 and 2016 about the health effects of mycotoxins and the measures needed to prevent them.
A total of 100% of the maize used in cereals brands Cerelac and Golden Morn is also now sourced locally thanks to the GQIP. In addition, 100% of millet used in Cerelac Millet infant cereals is sourced locally from farmers in Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria.
Alidu Samata, maize farmer in Ghana
Alidu, who is based in the Ghanaian village of Gushie, Tamale, joined the Nestlé Grains Quality Improvement Project in 2010.
She is one of the female farmers who have received training on the project to improve their capacity and their livelihoods.
Alidu has been able to transform her production of 4-5 bags per acre to 10-12 bags, after using skills taught by Nestlé agronomists.
“The impact on the community has been immense,” she said. “I can now pay my children’s school fees and can afford to sew them school uniforms. Now I even have some extra income.”
Sourcing salt locally
We have also helped local suppliers improve their ingredients, such as dry and fine iodised salt for Maggi products in Cameroon, to increase the amount of ingredients we source locally.
Previously, Nestlé did not source salt as an ingredient for our Maggi products from local suppliers because they did not match our specifications. We sourced 80% of the ingredient from outside Cameroon.
However, since 2013 we have helped local suppliers to implement good manufacturing practices and lab practices; organised supplier training sessions on the prevention of foreign bodies or objects in products; and have supported suppliers in their processes and capabilities following investments in additional equipment. A significant improvement has been made which now allows us to source nearly three-quarters of salt from suppliers in Cameroon.
We are also working with suppliers to iodize, dry and mill salt in Senegal.
By 2020, we aim to source 100% of salt from local suppliers across the continent.
In Nigeria, our company is providing improved, high yielding, disease-resistant varieties of cassava to smallholder farmers around our two processors.
The project also includes helping farmers to improve their cassava management practices.
In 2015, we supplied over 30,000 bundles of improved cassava to a total of 503 farmers, of which the majority were trained in cassava production and best management practices.
Milo in Nigeria
Nestlé chocolate malt drink Milo, made from ingrediants like malted barley, cocoa and milk solids, has been sourced and produced in the region for decades.
In Nigeria, we are using locally sourced grain sorghum as a malt ingredient to tailor our products to match the preferred taste profile of Nigerians in the country and benefit local farmers.