April 23, 2020: Nestle has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, as part of the Grown Sustainably in Africa (GSA) programme.

The three-year partnership aims to support 25,000 farmers and 50 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as open-up new markets for them in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, increasing employment and food security.

The collaboration seeks to develop and empower these farmers and SMEs to help Nestle meet its goal of boosting from 60 percent to more than 70 percent by 2022, it is responsibly and regionally produced, high-quality raw materials used in the production of Maggi, Milo and Cerelac. By improving local agricultural produce, imports of food crops for local markets will be reduced.

"In line with Nestle's Creating Shared Value approach, our new partnership with IDH will increase the capacity of farmers to produce high quality crops that will enhance local supply and help develop local economies - this is all part of our commitment to improving 30 million livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities," said Remy Ejel, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nestle Central and West Africa.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the agricultural sector helps to support food security and eradicate hunger in the region, contributing about 15 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP). However, based on current trends, the food production system in sub-Saharan Africa will only meet 13 percent of its food demand by 2050.

The IDH-Nestle partnership aims to address such challenges by encouraging farmers and SMEs to efficiently produce high quality and high-yield crops using best agricultural practices, and in turn, also help to reduce their environmental impact and the need for natural resources.

As part of the GSA programme, the partnership aims to address challenges faced by farmers and SMEs who lack access to affordable finance, technical and management capabilities. In addition, GSA will help to increase the number of SMEs who reach commercial viability and build sustainable businesses that can supply other clients beyond single brands. Through the development of African SMEs, new jobs will be created, and contribute to increasing food security will across the continent.

"This partnership pairs IDH's technical expertise in agriculture value chain development and innovative financing through the EUR 500 million IDH Farmfit Fund, with commitments from Nestle's supply chain. It will help to transform farmers and SMEs into long-term, sustainable operators and have a massive impact on building up the African economy, creating jobs and increasing food security," said Joost Oorthuizen, executive director for IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative.

The IDH GSA supports companies such as Nestl to increase local sourcing and further incorporate local farmers and SMEs into their supply chains for African markets and beyond.

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