Nestlé Opens Sustainable Food Research Institute

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by KnowESG,

Nestlé S.A.

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Nestlé has recently launched the Institute of Agricultural Sciences to promote sustainable food systems by providing science-based agricultural solutions.

During the inauguration, Paul Bulcke, Chairman of Nestlé, emphasised the importance of a sustainable food system and the need for collaboration with farmers worldwide. He expressed the hope that the institute would leverage Nestlé's global network to strengthen its agricultural expertise and support farming communities while protecting the planet.

As the global food systems face pressure, there is a pressing need to accelerate new approaches that can ensure a sustainable food supply for a growing population while supporting farmer livelihoods.

The new institute focuses on key areas like plant science, agricultural systems, and dairy livestock, where Nestlé experts develop and evaluate solutions. It builds on the company's existing plant science expertise in coffee and cocoa, where Nestlé plant scientists have contributed to sustainable sourcing plans like the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and Nescafé Plan. Recently, they discovered more disease- and drought-resistant coffee varieties, which is a significant breakthrough.

Nestlé is expanding its plant science expertise to other crops, such as pulses and grains while strengthening its existing knowledge in coffee and cocoa. The institute is collaborating with farmers to test regenerative agriculture practices that boost soil health and promote biodiversity.

Furthermore, the experts are exploring innovative approaches to dairy farming that could potentially decrease greenhouse gas emissions in cow feed and manure management.

Jeroen Dijkman, the Head of Nestlé Institute of Agricultural Sciences, stated that the institute's objective is to find the most effective solutions for promoting the production of nutritious raw materials while minimising their environmental impact. The institute considers various factors, including the impact on yield, carbon footprint, food safety, cost, and the potential for scaling up when taking a comprehensive approach.

The institute, being a part of Nestlé's global R&D network, works closely with external partners like farmers, universities, research organisations, startups, and industry partners to evaluate and develop science-based solutions. Nestlé's new institute confirms its dedication to strengthening Switzerland's exceptional innovation ecosystem.

Valérie Dittli, the State Councilor of the Swiss Canton of Vaud, spoke at the inauguration, highlighting the new institute's significance in strengthening the Canton of Vaud as a centre of excellence for research and education in agriculture and nutrition.

She emphasised the importance of supporting farmers in the face of climate change and the critical role of agriculture in providing quality nutrition. Dittli praised the innovative ecosystem in the Canton of Vaud that brings together agricultural professionals, schools for higher education, and private research centres like Nestlé's.

Moreover, the institute incorporates an existing plant science research unit in France and farms in Ecuador, Côte d'Ivoire, and Thailand, along with partnerships with research farms. It also has new facilities at Nestlé Research in Switzerland.

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Source: Nestlé

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