Nestlé unveils plans to support the transition to a regenerative food system

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Petaling Jaya, September 16, 2021 - Nestlé is laying out its plans to support and accelerate the transition to a regenerative food system – one that aims to protect and restore the environment, improve the livelihoods of farmers and enhance the well-being of farming communities. Nestlé will work with its food system partners, including the company’s network of more than 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers, to advance regenerative farming practices at the heart of the food system. As part of this journey, the company will also initiate new programs to help address the social and economic challenges of the transition.

The announcement is being made in the lead up to the UN Food Systems Summit in New York, as part of Nestlé’s contribution to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. It also follows the recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shows the climate crisis is intensifying.

“We know that regenerative agriculture plays a critical role in improving soil health, restoring water cycles and increasing biodiversity for the long term,” said Paul Bulcke, Chairman of Nestlé. “These outcomes form the foundation of sustainable food production and, crucially, also contribute to achieving our ambitious climate targets.”

Nestlé is a signatory of the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge and was one of the first companies to share its detailed, time-bound climate plan in December 2020. The company is taking measures to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.

“With our long-standing partnerships with farming communities globally, we want to increase our support for farming practices that are good for the environment and good for people,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO. “In the spirit of enabling a just transition it is vital that we support farmers around the world that take on the risks and costs associated with the move towards regenerative agriculture.”

Nestlé is investing CHF 1.2 billion over the next five years to spark regenerative agriculture across the company's supply chain, using three primary levers to help farmers adopt regenerative practices:

Apply state-of-the-art science and technology, provide technical assistance:
Leveraging its vast network of R&D experts and agronomists, Nestlé is, for example, developing higher-yielding coffee and cocoa varieties with lower environmental impact and assessing novel solutions to reduce emissions in the dairy supply chain. Nestlé will also offer agricultural training and help farmers exchange information and best practices that can be adapted locally.

Offer investment support: The transition to regenerative agriculture comes with initial risks and new costs. Nestlé will support farmers by co-investing with them, facilitating lending or helping them obtain loans for specific equipment. The company will also work with partners to fund pilot projects to test and learn how best to advance regenerative agriculture.

Pay premiums for regenerative agriculture goods: Nestlé will offer premiums for many raw materials produced using regenerative agriculture practices and buy bigger quantities. This means rewarding farmers not only for the quantity and quality of ingredients, but also for the benefits they provide to the environment through soil protection, water management and carbon sequestration.

Today, Nestlé published the most important regenerative farming practices that the company wants to promote. They include, among others, enhancement of biodiversity, soil conservation, regeneration of water cycles and integration of livestock. Agriculture accounts for nearly two-thirds of Nestlé's total greenhouse gas emissions, with dairy and livestock making up about half of that. In dairy, for example, Nestlé is assessing cutting-edge science and technology to reduce emissions at farm level. The company will start working with 30 reference dairy farms in 12 countries to test scalable, climate-friendly and regenerative agricultural practices that help achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Nestlé is also working with farmers to select and cultivate nutritious and tasty pulse varieties to be used as milk alternatives. More information about Nestlé’s approach is available online.

Juan Aranols, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, said, “in Malaysia, we are looking forward to deploying the Nestlé Group’s regeneration framework building on solid foundations established over many years. From 2011 to 2020, we had planted one million native trees in Sabah under Project RiLeaf to further scale up efforts in restoring riparian zones and forest ecosystems along Sabah’s Kinabatangan river. And now we have embarked on a journey to plant a further three million trees in the next three years under Project RELeaf, both in Sabah and in Peninsular Malaysia.

Our reforestation efforts complement our adoption of sustainable agricultural practices through our direct engagement in chilli farms in Kelantan, and rice and coffee planting in Kedah.  

A farmer from our Nestlé Chilli Club programA farmer from our Nestlé Chilli Club program in Kelantan harvesting his crops.

Through these ventures we have introduced practices such as intercropping and mulching with the use of paddy straws that rejuvenate the soil, retain its moist and have a positive impact on the yield and the farmers income.

As we embark on this inspiring journey, we look forward to scaling up these efforts directly and also by partnering with likeminded stakeholders, especially those in our extensive network of local raw material suppliers.” he added.

Supporting farming communities through new living income and youth programs

Regenerative agriculture contributes to a regenerative food system, which should be fair and transparent for all participants. Nestlé is committed to supporting improved and diversified farmer incomes through its sustainability programs. Furthermore, Nestlé will implement new living income programs for farmers in its value chain to make farming more attractive. Later this year, Nestlé will unveil specific plans for its coffee and cocoa supply chains.

To support young people who are passionate about farming, Nestlé is launching a new training platform in November to attract and train the next generation of farmers. The training will focus on regenerative agriculture practices and improving the resilience of farms to climate change for more than 40,000 farmers participating in one of Nestlé’s global agripreneurship programs.

Nestlé’s regeneration efforts are launching under the umbrella title of “Generation Regeneration” focused on farmers, youth, consumers and its own employees.


About Nestlé Malaysia
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturer. Headquartered in Switzerland, Nestlé is present in more than 180 countries around the world, and our over 270,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come. Our performance is driven by our Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Nourishing Malaysians since 1912, Nestlé has earned the trust of our consumers through our quality brands and products. We are committed to improving the lives of the communities in which we operate, whilst maintaining our Halal excellence and integrity.

This is in line with our promise of delivering GOOD FOOD, GOOD LIFE to all. To learn more about how we have been nourishing Malaysians for over a century, do visit www.nestle.com.my or our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Nestle.Malaysia.


For more information, please contact:

Shaheen Zaffar
Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad
Tel: (+603) 7965 6650
Email: [email protected]

Alya Nurina or Yasmin Kadir
acorn communications
Tel: (+603) 7958 8348
Email: [email protected]