“If cities are to survive, rural areas must thrive. And yet 70% of the world’s poor live in rural areas” said Duncan Pollard in his presentation. To address this, we need to improve livelihoods and make agriculture and farming resilient.
Duncan illustrated his thinking with details about Nestlé’s work programs in Kenya to make coffee-growing more attractive and increase farming resilience.
Three years ago, Nestlé launched a study to better understand the needs and expectations of the farmers and their communities.
“The results were surprising for us at Nestlé: the coffee growers are farmers first – they have a variety of other crops and livestock; they also suffer from food insecurity three months out of the year.” The study further demonstrated that farmers working with Nestlé had more resilient livelihoods in comparison to the broader farming community.
That’s when they understood that for better impact, Nestlé also needed to improve access to a wider range of basic needs for farming families and communities.
Armed with these results, Nestlé leveraged WBCSD membership to call for business collaboration, to help them tackle challenges of access to healthcare, water, finance, energy, and other needs.
Novartis answered the call and worked with Nestlé in Kenya to roll out their “Healthy Family” program in coffee-growing communities to strengthen health systems and increase health literacy and awareness, thus helping to improve productivity and quality of life in the targeted areas.
“Nestlé invites other companies to join us, and leverage the WBCSD space to talk to other companies to replicate the model. It can make a real difference.”