Nestle unveils key global initiatives
Vevey (Switzerland), April 28, 2009
Nestle has announced three major initiatives aimed at creating new partnerships with governments, NGOs and small enterprises in response to global economic and social challenges.
The initiatives include an expanded education programme focused on nutrition, health and wellness for school age children around the world, a research and development centre in Africa, and a new Nestle Prize in Creating Shared Value, awarded every other year to foster innovative approaches to solve problems of nutrition, water and rural development.
These new initiatives in nutrition, water, and rural development have been unveiled against a backdrop of a deep economic recession, with destruction of value for both shareholders and the public of historic proportions.
The announcement comes as Nestle launches a two-day forum on Creating Shared Value in New York in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations.
Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, said, "Tthe financial crisis which has resulted in the current deep recession revealed once more a basic business axiom: if you fail to work on behalf of the public interest and take shortcuts that place the public at risk, you will also fail your shareholders."
"We believe that to have long-term business success you must simultaneously create value for shareholders and for the public. At Nestle, we call this Creating Shared Value, and it is the fundamental principle behind the way we conduct business at Nestle,” he explained.
The new initiatives are related to Nestlé’s basic business strategy of nutrition, health, and wellness. Creating value for the public in terms of better nutrition, water, and food production is key to Nestle building a sustainable business in the long-term. It makes a fundamental connection between shareholder value and community value.
“At Nestle we recognize that our success depends on creating value for people – from the farmers who supply our products, to our employees, to our consumers and the communities where we operate,” said Brabeck-Letmathe.
“Creating Shared Value is not philanthropy or an add-on. We have been integrating the improvement of the lives of workers, families and communities into our core business strategy since the Company’s creation in 1866,” he added.
The long-term economic and social challenges the world is facing - population growth, availability of resources, particularly water, food security - cannot be solved by governments alone and corporations need to take responsibility and contribute to the solutions.
As a first new initiative, the company is also launching the 'Nestle Healthy Kids Global Programme.'
Nestle intends to double the number of countries in which it has nutrition and physical activity education projects by the end of 2011, bringing such schemes to over 100 countries where it operates.
This new global programme addresses some of the world’s most complex challenges today – both malnutrition and increasing obesity rates, particularly among school-age children. Nestle currently supports education programmes that reach over 10 million children.
Secondly, the opening of the Abidjan Research & Development Centre, Cote d’Ivoire, demonstrates Nestle’s commitment to rural development in Africa.
The centre’s new research programmes will help to increase agricultural productivity and the safety of foods by developing and improving local crops - such as manioc, corn, millet, coffee and cocoa - and cereal-based products in the West African region.
The R&D Centre will also build on Nestle’s experience in tree propagation.
A third initiative, the 'Nestle Prize in Creating Shared Value,' provides financial support of up to $461,000 to individuals, NGOs, or small enterprises offering innovative solutions to nutritional deficiencies, access to clean