Supplier engagement

Our commitment: Engage with suppliers, especially in agriculture 

Our objective

Ongoing – Continue supplier audits against North American Responsible Sourcing targets, and facilitate trainings and engage farmers in up-to-date research and best practices. 

Our progress

Nestlé builds stakeholder awareness and provides quarterly updates on progress against targets and developments. Nestlé also provides farmers regular one-on-one and group trainings informed by research with our partnering universities. The one-on-one meetings and group trainings enable us to address some key challenges in water management and irrigation, such as resilience to drought and flooding; wastewater and organic waste treatment; and farm intensification techniques. 

Our perspective

With over 70% of the world’s available fresh water supplies used to grow food, the food and beverage industry is in a strong position to influence regional improvements in global water stewardship. Industry leaders have already achieved significant advances in sustainable water management in their operations; but focus must be extended ‘outside the factory gates’, where farmers are often the biggest users of water and may represent the key stakeholders in a catchment area. 

Every year, Nestlé works directly with around 695,000 farmers globally, providing a wide range of support, from drought-resistant plantlets, to sharing information about agricultural methods that maintain a strong crop yield, while using less water. Our sphere of influence touches millions more suppliers through the commodities we purchase, such as coffee, cocoa, milk and paper for our packaging. We estimate that around 65 billion m3 of water is consumed by the agricultural goods we use in our products globally (94% from rainwater and 6% from irrigation).

Engaging with our suppliers, especially those in agriculture and forestry, is therefore critical to achieving water security and to meet our water stewardship commitments.