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  • Writer's pictureSustainable Agriculture Network

Creating Positive Impact through the Nestlé Sustainable Sourcing Programme

The Nestlé Suppliers' Meeting celebrated on October 24 in Vevey, Switzerland, represented an opportunity for stakeholders involved in the Sustainable Sourcing Programme (SSP) to discuss about topics of common interest and key initiatives deployed within the programme. One of the highlights was the event’s biodiversity panel discussion, where experts weighed in on how biodiversity is central to advancing regenerative agriculture.

“Monitoring environmental quality through the Biodiversity Indices of soil, water and air, created by the World Biodiversity Association (WBA), can help in realizing a new vision of relations between man and nature, both at corporate and society level."

Gianfranco Caoduro, Honorary President and WBA Ambassador

“Defining units of biodiversity gain at farm and supply chain level can be used to quantify the contribution of regenerative agricultural practices in general and specially for the SSP. These units of gain can be independently verified via the Biodiversity Futures Initiative that will re-analyse the presented data and confirm for example that farm A has achieved a 30% increase across 800 hectares over the last 3 years.”

Tim Coles, Founder and Project Director at Operation Wallacea

“Nestlé R&D is collaborating with the SSP and other Nestlé programs on scientific approaches to monitor and improve biodiversity outcomes of agricultural practices, in support of regenerative agriculture approaches that benefit farmers, in line with company strategy."

Anna Chilton, Biodiversity Specialist at Nestlé

“Nestlé aims at minimizing the impact of synthetic pesticides on nature through the promotion of IPM practices. Protecting pollinators, soil, natural habitats, and farmers health are key priorities for the company.”

Thomas Peyrachon, Regenerative Agriculture Manager at Nestlé

Participants also discussed the positive impact that the SSP is creating in key farming aspects:

- They agreed that the main element of the soil that can be improved while obtaining a greater impact is organic matter. Several strategies were pointed out as to how to achieve this, including cover crops and green manure, which increase soil organic matter content and dramatically improve soil structure, water retention capacity, and presence of microorganisms.

- They discussed and identified fertilizers use as an area needing further improvement. Synthetic fertilizer reduction and the incorporation of more sources of organic matter was understood as the number one strategy to create a greater impact on the environment. Farmers’ training is seen as a key component to achieve this reduction and therefore transition towards regenerative agriculture.

- Finally, indicators and metrics measuring GHG emissions reduction were pointed out as key elements to measure, track, and communicate impact. For example, measuring the effects of practices for improving soil fertility and the ability to sequester carbon was described as an essential strategy to create a greater awareness and information about GHG emissions reduction, which in turn differentiates products in the supply chain and leads to greater profit margins for the supplier.

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