Supplying Nestle

Karen Blackwell
Manager, Supplier Diversity and Development
Nestlé North America Procurement


Nestlé’s commitment to diversity is real. With over 300,000 employees worldwide and factory locations in more than 85 countries, we truly are a multinational, multicultural company. This is demonstrated in both our internal hiring practices and our supplier relationships and continues to be one source of our competitive advantage in our position as the world’s largest Food Company.

As the Manager of Supplier Diversity for Nestlé North America Procurement, I am proud to provide supplier diversity leadership to all of the Nestlé operating companies in the United States. We are committed to the development of meaningful and mutually beneficial business relationships with diverse suppliers and recognize the value these relationships add to our Company. We strive to exceed our diversity targets and to provide an environment where all suppliers, including those that meet the requirements of our Supplier Diversity program, are provided with all the information they need.

Having a Supplier Diversity Program makes good business sense. We are investing in the future of our company and in the communities in which we live and work. We thank you for your support in this mission.

The Case for Supplier Diversity

By 2050, the majority of the U.S. population will consist of people from ethnic groups historically referred to as minorities. The 2007 Survey of Business Owners conducted by the U.S. Census Department documented the increasingly diverse U.S. business ownership which mirrors the diversity trends of our population.

The following highlights from this survey support Nestlé’s Commitment to Supplier Diversity:

  • In 2007, minority-owned firms numbered 5.8 million, up from 4.0 million in 2002, an increase of 45.5 percent. These businesses generated $860.5 billion in receipts, an increase of 54.3 percent from 2002.
  • In 2007, women owned 7.8 million businesses and accounted for 28.7 percent of all businesses nationwide. These firms generated $1.2 trillion in receipts, about 3.9 percent of all business receipts nationwide.
  • A study by the Small Business Administration stated that small business are responsible for more that 65% of the jobs created in the private sector over the past 17 years.
  • In 2007, there were 117,277 veteran-owned businesses with receipts of $1 million or more and of these 7,446 businesses employed 100 or more people.

A strong Supplier Diversity Program provides Nestlé with:

  • A pool of qualified suppliers that understand and support Nestlé’s commitment to excellence
  • A pool of qualified suppliers that are directly aligned with underrepresented and emerging communities and can promote positive relationships with our customers
  • Better quality goods and services at a lower price as a result of increased competition and an extended supply base
  • Access to new capabilities and innovations
  • A competitive advantage as we seek government contracts, and assurance that we are in compliance with the diversity expectations of our public sector contracts.

Supplier diversity relationships are unique in that they truly benefit both parties. The diverse suppliers that we do business with are also our customers. Minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses tend to hire diverse employees and in supporting these businesses, we support a growing segment of our consumer community and gain their loyalty. And by retaining qualified, diverse suppliers, we gain a distinct competitive advantage that can significantly impact our bottom line.

Read more about our position on diversity.

Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity

In addition to implementing a successful Supplier Diversity Program,  North America Procurement is committed to implementing a Strategic Sourcing Initiative. Together, these two programs ensure a winning purchasing strategy.

What is Strategic Sourcing?
Strategic sourcing means just that—we source all of our products strategically.  North America Procurement is responsible for selecting only those suppliers who can successfully meet Nestlé’s regional and international needs. With strategic sourcing, Nestlé can develop a strong, flexible and competitive supply base, and pass those improvements on to the customer. Supplier diversity is an extremely important component of our search to find those suppliers who can best meet Nestlé’s needs.

The North America Procurement Diversity Team currently supports the following operating companies:
  • Nestlé USA
  • Nestlé Nutrition
  • Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
  • Nestlé Waters North America
  • Nestlé Health Science

The Purchasing Division buys services and products
in the following categories:

  • Packaging
  • Ingredients
  • Raw Materials
  • Capital/Construction and Engineering
  • Maintenance, Repair Services and Operations
  • Legal and Real Estate
  • Human Resources, Security Services and Office Products
  • Telecommunications and IT
  • Marketing, Printing and Promotions.

The Nestlé North America Procurement Diversity Team
Diversity Team representatives from each purchasing category continuously review the list of diverse suppliers in their areas. They identify those suppliers who can do more business with Nestlé and introduce them to the operating companies that could work with them. This process increases our diversity spend and assists in the development of diverse suppliers that support Nestlé's business model.

“We believe that diverse companies and their talent and ideas are crucial to a successful innovation effort. They tie us more closely to our customers and help us better understand their wants and needs, they bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the job and they use existing resources in new and creative ways. We remain committed to developing relationships with qualified suppliers who understand and support Nestlé’s commitment to excellence and innovation, and to delivering value through creative solutions, best-in-class practices and sound business strategies.”
Kevin Petrie
Chief Purchasing Officer
North America Procurement

Becoming A Nestlé Supplier

We highly recommend that you visit our various Nestlé Web sites to become familiar with our brands and products. This can help you determine how your company can supply Nestlé’s needs. If you are interested in becoming a Nestlé supplier, please register here .

The following organizations are useful resources for certification and other information:

Contact Info
Supplier Diversity Program
North America Procurement
800 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: 818-549-6000
Fax: 818-553-3547