Nestlé is paying a premium to UK farmers to try out interventions such as planting hedgerows, reports Angeli Mehta
Nestlé is taking advantage of partnerships to develop the sustainability of its raw materials in the face of risks like climate change, erosion of top soils and species decline. In the UK, there’s also Brexit to contend with, and potential threats to farm incomes.
As part of the Natural Capital Impact Group, Nestlé has been looking at interventions farmers could make to increase productivity, cut costs and protect the natural capital that the dairy industry depends upon.
We’re applying the principles of natural capital valuation, although the thinking around that is still evolving
“We’re applying the principles of natural capital valuation, although the thinking around that is still evolving ... in effect we’re using risk and opportunity as a proxy in the short term,” explains Andy Griffiths, head of environmental sustainability for Nestlé UK and Ireland. That’s a language business understands, he adds.
Nestlé’s farmers produce 1% of the UK’s total milk output: that’s some 110m litres that goes into KitKat, Yorkies, and Nescafé pre-packaged drinks. Now they’re getting a price premium per litre for trying out a range of natural capital interventions.
Sustainable sourcing lead Robin Sundaram, pictured above, says work with the First Milk dairy co-operative revealed that “farmers were probably...