How we continue to enrich African farming communities

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The latest global pandemic has reminded us about disadvantaged communities that struggle and fall deeper into poverty during uncertain times. At Nestlé, we care for our African farming communities – we work in unity to ensure our farmers prosper; even when times are tough. 

Our coffee culture has shown rapid growth in Africa. This is no surprise, considering Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. The Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) saw Africa's potential, which contributed to our footprint in various coffee-growing regions. We saw this as an opportunity to help communities, and with your help, we’ve made it possible for local farmers to improve their livelihoods

Empowering women to succeed

Kofi Annan once said, “there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” Which is why we strongly believe in empowering women in South Africa, and Africa as a whole. In 2011, Nestlé in Kenya and its implementing partner, Coffee Management Services (CMS), started programmes which trained over 6 000 women on Financial Literacy; Coffee Production; Coffee Certification; Confidence Building; Self Development and Nursery. To date, these programmes continue to run and have helped many women in African countries change their lives.

Ms Bamba Nihigbe Jeanette from Kenya is a prime example of that. As a widow and mother of three, our coffee training helped her to earn an income and afford her children’s schooling. In 2013, her three-hectare farm harvested 500kg of coffee. By 2016, she successfully managed to raise that figure to 1300kg, inspiring communities with her drive, and empowering other women to make a difference.

In addition, we joined forces with Sucafina, a leading sustainable "Farm to Roaster" coffee company under our sister company NESCAFÉ Plan. Their aim is to sustainably improve farm economics and promote the inclusion of women and youth in the coffee value chain in Rwanda. In 2019, the second phase of the NESCAFÉ Plan project, Coffee by Women, was launched, which is planned to be carried out over the next three years. These programmes are important to us, as it helps improve the livelihood and resilience of small-scale coffee producers across Rwanda, ensuring the social-economic inclusion of both women and children.

We have also been a part of international programmes which have helped;

  • Install 130 chlorinators in Brazil, improving the availability of potable water.
  • Train 390 Mexican coffee farmers in finance, helping them manage their farm finances better.

Creating opportunities for the youth 

Often, the younger generations leave their farming communities for the prospect of a bright future in the city. For example, a Mexican farmer, Eduardo grew up in a family of coffee growers and saw himself becoming a coffee farmer. But, he later lost his coffee buzz and decided to try life in the city. Thankfully, the NESCAFÉ farm school helped him, and other young African farmers, reignite their coffee passion. Today, Eduardo is farming sustainably and keeping the family’s legacy alive.

Final thoughts

We, alongside NESCAFÉ, are committed to helping farmers, communities and the planet. This is done by working with our farmers to help them grow healthier, disease-resistant, better quality coffee, which, in turn, increases their financial opportunities and protects their livelihood. Help us help these communities by continuing to choose Nestlé as your go-to coffee supplier. Take your pick from our trusted, professional products and find a hot beverage solution that works for your business.