Nestlé has announced three new company initiatives aimed at creating new partnerships with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and small enterprises.
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 Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value, awarded every other year to foster innovative approaches to solve problems of nutrition, water and rural development.
According to Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, “The 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 Nestlé, we call this Creating Shared Value, and it is the fundamental principle behind the way we conduct business at Nestlé.”
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 Nestlé building a sustainable business in the long-term. It makes a fundamental connection between shareholder value and community value.
“At Nestlé 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 Nestlé Chairman Peter 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.”
As a first new initiative, the Company is launching the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme. Nestlé 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. Nestlé currently supports education programmes that reach over 10 million children.
Secondly, the opening of the Abidjan Research & Development Centre demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to rural development in Africa. The R&D 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.
A third initiative, the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value, provides financial support of up to US $461,000 to individuals, NGOs, or small enterprises offering innovative solutions to nutritional deficiencies, access to clean water, or progress in rural development. Nestlé will award the prize every two years.
“Nestlé has become the world’s foremost nutrition, health and wellness company, with half its factories and employees in the developing world. We owe our success in large part to those communities, and it’s that understanding that guides us to do even more than we have done before,” added Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé.