Nestlé is committed to rural development and responsible sourcing by ensuring that rural communities where it sources the raw materials needed for its products are attractive places to live, work and invest in, for generations to come.
Nestlé Ghana is working to improve the lives of cocoa farming communities and the quality of the cocoa it purchases through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. The Plan aims to enable farmers to run profitable farms, improve social conditions for the community and enable the long-term sourcing of good quality, sustainable cocoa for Nestlé products.
As part of the initiative, Nestlé has built four Village Resource Centres (VRC) in Suhum, Akim Oda, and Nkawkaw. These are containers stationed in schools and equipped with computers with child-friendly software and Internet access. VRCs promote Information Communication Technology (ICT) education among school children, helping them to acquire skills that will be helpful later in life. At the same time, the VRCs help provide local farmers with audio-visual training on good agricultural practices.
Before the introduction of community-based resource centres, farmers were only trained when Agricultural Extension Officers organised capacity building programmes in the community. Thanks to this initiative farmers’ are now trained regularly through video tutorials in the local Akan language. The digital curriculum includes topics such as application of fertilizer and pesticides management. It was developed in partnership with Source Trust, ECOMS, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is active in major cocoa-growing countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico and Indonesia. Nestlé has committed to source 150 000 tonnes of cocoa through the Plan by 2017.
In Ghana, the Plan is implemented in partnership with local buying companies Source Trust, ECOMS and Noble Resource. Nestlé has been closely working with the communities it sources cocoa from since 2009 and has already trained over 9,000 farmers, built three schools and constructed eight boreholes benefitting approximately 14,000 people in communities in the Eastern and Ashanti regions.
In October 2014, Nestlé announced the renewal of its long-standing collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the extension of water, sanitation and hygiene projects to cocoa growing communities in Ghana.