Producing Good Food and Contributing to a Better World

Producing Good Food and Contributing to a Better World

By Paul Bakus, President of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé US

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Ensuring enough food to match growing populations #CSR #sustainability article via @NestleUSA
Friday, February 6, 2015 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Article

By 2050, the projected global population will put a strain on our food system, and issues such as climate change and water scarcity will pose a threat to meeting our food needs. 

Governments have a role to play in averting such a crisis, but can a company best known for its chocolate make a difference too?

At Nestlé, we believe that we can.

If we are to secure enough food for all, we must start by taking a broader view that recognizes the need to produce more food in a more resource-efficient way, particularly with regards to water.  For example, in Vietnam, Nestlé has partnered with coffee growers to innovate new methods of irrigation that have been shown to reduce water loss by 50 percent – an achievement that was recently recognized by the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the same time, we’re addressing food scarcity through our rural development work, training more than 300,000 small holder farmers last year and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainable agriculture programs like the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

Our work to reduce water usage and address the pending food crisis is driven by the same belief that motivates everything we do: a belief that creating value for shareholders goes hand in hand with creating value for society and making the world a better place to live. Our commitment to ”Creating Shared Value” began with the founding of our company in 1866, when a young scientist named Henri Nestlé saw that he could help reduce infant mortality by creating the world’s first infant cereal.

Henri Nestlé's commitment to serving society through his work remains the foundation of our business. More than just an effort to dedicate some resources towards social good, we believe that improving the lives of individuals – and the health and prosperity of communities – must drive the work that we do every day.

Here in the United States, we are going beyond the issue of availability to enhance the quality of our food and by working diligently to increase healthy eating habits. Through partnerships with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Education Association’s Health Information Network and the city of Newark, New Jersey, Nestlé is working to reduce rates of childhood obesity.

Additionally, Nestlé operates nine R&D centers across the country that are dedicated to advancing our knowledge of nutrition and health – and sharing that knowledge with outside organizations, researchers and public health agencies. Since 2002, Nestlé’s Gerber brand has conducted two groundbreaking studies in the United States (and five more in countries around the world) to understand the eating habits of young infants and toddlers. When the first Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study was published in 2002, it was the first-ever research conducted on this issue, and it remains one of the world’s major sources of information regarding infant and toddler nutrition and health today.

Finally, as the largest purchaser of dairy in the United States – and a company that purchases more than 660 million pounds of fruits and vegetables each year –Nestlé holds our partners, suppliers and vendors to the same high standards that guide our work. 

At our facility in Modesto, California, we source more than 1 million pounds of fresh milk every day from local farms and cooperatives – and we’re working with these and other suppliers worldwide to implement animal welfare and environmental impact standards that lead our industry. We have also worked with our dairy suppliers to install innovations like manure digesters, which convert the gas byproduct of cow manure into renewable energy that can be used on the farm or be sold back to the electrical grid.

Since our founding almost 150 years ago, Nestlé has grown to become the world’s largest food and beverage company. Today, Nestlé produces more than 100 food and beverage brands, employs 51,000 workers in the United States and supports more than 400,000 American jobs. While many first know us as a chocolate company, we are proud to say that we are – and always have been – so much more. Our large and diverse company is united by a singular commitment to producing good food and creating a better world.