Victoria Uwadoka, corporate communications and public affairs manager, said this when she led a delegation to TheCable head office in Lagos on Thursday.
Uwadoka said as a means of giving back to the society, Nestle also organises training and programmes for the benefits of Nigerians.
She said the company lays emphasis on the importance of creating shared value.
Uwadoka was accompanied by Uduak Bassey, continuous excellence manager and John Attu, communications assistant.
“Nestle in Nigeria not only patronises local farmers but also works with these suppliers to make sure the quality of their produce is standard,” Uwadoka said.
“We get most of our raw materials from here, even though it is cheaper through importation… we have a total of 41,700 local farmers who are our partners. Apart from patronising them, we put them through a series of training on sustainable farming practices and business management skills.
“Sometimes it makes it more difficult for us because they negotiate harder. They earn more, they are happier, they produce more and we’re also helping them to improve the quality of the grain because aflatoxins are a huge menace in Nigeria. You go to the market and you buy corn and you eat it.
“You don’t know how much aflatoxin there is in that. And many diseases can be traced to aflatoxin contamination in the food we consume. In groundnuts, corn, in all the grains that we consume. So we do a lot of work to improve the quality of the grain. We teach them how to use the chemicals well, how to harvest properly, how to thresh properly, how to dry properly to reduce this contamination. Because some of the contamination actually happens post-harvest. So, we help them to build those skills to ensure that not only what they sell to our factory but what people get in the market at the end of the day is better.”
Uwadoka also spoke of how the company has made a positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.
“In Nigeria, Nestle has over 100 distributors and thousands of resellers all over the country. There are dozens of life-changing stories from locals in the value chain.
“Nestle focuses on empowering its partners, nutrition education, and providing the best quality of products. There are a lot of beautiful stories that we’ve heard listening to the people across our value chain… We’ve helped people set up their factories, set up their quality structures, we help them to actually meet the quality standards for Nestle. When we help them, they are not only able to supply to Nestle, they are able to supply to others too.”
“I’ll tell the story of the cassava processors, providing the starch, and all of that. It’s a lot of beautiful stories that we’ve heard listening to the people across our value chain. So we help them set up their factories, set up their quality structures, we help them to actually meet the quality standards for Nestle. And when we help them, they are not only able to supply to Nestle, they are able to supply to others too.
“So this is just in a nutshell what we do and why it’s important to us to keep creating shared value.”
Taiwo George, editor of TheCable, said it was an honour to receive the team. He commended the organisation for the quality of the products, urging the Nestle to keep maintaining the standard.
He also ran the visitors through the operations of the organaisation.