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Nestlé UK & Ireland – Helping to create shared value through innovative innovations in nutrition, water or rural development

Introduction and background

Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company.  It has operations in almost every country in the world, with around half of its factories and employees based in developing countries.

Worldwide, Nestlé is dedicated to a long-term business strategy to create shared value’ – a phrase that expresses its desire to create value for society, just as it aims to create value for its shareholders. This is reflected across Nestlé’s supply chain and in the many programmes and projects it supports, including those that work towards the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

There are already many examples of organisations, both from the private and not‐for‐profit sectors, developing or implementing ‘creating shared value’ initiatives. Nestlé aims to reward the best examples of creating shared valueworldwide and encourage others to adopt this approach.

How the issue was tackled

Launched in April 2009, the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value is awarded every other year to support an innovative project, an inclusive business or a social enterprise in the area of nutrition, water, or rural development.

The Prize is open to applications from individuals, not‐for‐profit organisations, governmental and inter‐governmental organisations, private enterprises and academic institutions.  It forms part of Nestlé’s commitment to recognise excellent community work and provides serious financial support to those practical ideas and initiatives which make a real difference on the ground.

Worth around £300,000 (CHF 500,000), the prize is designed to support an innovative idea that could be applied on a larger scale, with the investment disbursed as a one-time grant or on a multi-year basis in increments.  Unlike other prizes, the purpose is to ensure the success, growth, or replication of a project, extending the benefits that it brings to local people and communities.

Specific fields of activity may include:

  • agriculture, including extension services and use of new technologies
  • food science and technology
  • nutrition education or micronutrient fortification programmes
  • water management and protection of water resources

The winner of the prize is selected by the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Advisory Board and announced at the Creating Shared Value Forum.

Progress Achieved: benefits and impacts  

In 2012, the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value (CSV) was awarded to Fundación Paraguaya de Cooperación y Desarrollo for their ‘self-sufficient agricultural school’ model.

This model gives students a platform to develop the entrepreneurial and practical skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty. This is achieved by combining the teaching of traditional high school subjects with high-quality technical and business training. 

The project has already reached more than 500 students in Paraguay. It was first established in 2003 at the Escuela Agrícola San Francisco. The school has been financially self-sufficient for more than five years.

Two other schools in the country are implementing the programme. The Nestlé CSV Prize funding will help to scale up the project with the funds being used to recreate the winning model in the Paraguayan city of San Pedro

In addition to the overall winner, the CSV Advisory Board selected two runners up.

Runners up include ‘arcenciel’, a Lebanese non-profit organisation. The organisation helps farmers and small food-processing business owners to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the Lebanese agriculture throughout the value chain. The Wataneh project supports and promotes the production, marketing and consumption of a diversity of fresh and processed products produced in a sustainable way.

Another runner up is ‘Excellent Development’, a non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom. Excellent Development helps rural communities in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Uganda to gain access to clean water through the construction of sand dams. This is carried out through a community self-help approach alongside soil and water conservation activities and training in climate-smart agricultural techniques.