KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Nestlé Malaysia today with the support of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), Kedah State Department of Agriculture (KSDA), Kedah Economic Development Authority (KEDA), Pertubuhan Kami Anak Felda (KAF) and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) launched its Nescafé Grown Respectfully Programme, a sustainable coffee farming initiative, to help revive the Malaysian coffee farming sector.
The pilot phase of the Nescafé Grown Respectfully Programme will commence in Kedah, which has optimum climate conditions for coffee cultivation. Nestlé will be producing over approximately 50,000 Robusta coffee seedlings to be distributed to around 200 local farmers for planting across 100 acres of land by 2020. The seedlings are being jointly developed with KSDA.
Through this multi-stakeholder alliance, the Nescafé Grown Respectfully Programme will support farmers at every stage of the coffee farming process to successfully develop the upstream coffee chain. The programme will help farmers improve their livelihoods through a strong support programme of training & knowledge-sharing to maximise the land utilisation for growing alternative crops and teaching best agricultural practices to increase yield and productivity.
The Nestlé Group is the largest purchaser of green coffee in the world, sourcing around 850,000 tonnes of green coffee every year. The high demand for green coffee and good environmental conditions are evidence that there are significant prospects in reviving the local coffee farming sector in Malaysia.
The multi-stakeholder collaboration through the Nescafé Grown Respectfully Programme also aims to contribute towards strengthening Malaysia’s food security and provide opportunities for trade diversification.
Mr. Juan Aranols, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, said, “We are confident that by leveraging our experience and scale as a global food producer with local expertise, combined with the strengths of FELDA, KSDA, KEDA, KAF and MARDI, we can successfully revive the coffee farming sector, while improving the livelihoods and wellbeing of Malaysian farmers.”
“Malaysian farmers are an important part of Nestlé’s value chain. For close to 30 years, we have been actively engaging local farmers in Kedah and Kelantan through our Nestlé Paddy Club and Chilli Club programmes, to maximise yields without compromising quality. This is in line with our commitment to improve farmer livelihoods and enhance rural development in our local communities,” added Mr Aranols.
According to Nestlé Malaysia, its 3-acre mother plant nursery built in the 1990s and located in Sik, Kedah, is being rehabilitated to provide adequate planting materials for coffee seedling production and is central to the Grown Respectfully Programme.
Mr. Othman Chraibi, Business Executive Officer, Beverages Business Unit, said, “From the day Nescafé was invented 80 years ago, sustainability has been at the heart of our iconic brand. Through our Grown Respectfully Programme, NESCAFÉ will leverage its extensive coffee expertise to provide technical advice on the end-to-end process of coffee growing, from seedlings to harvesting. We will also train farmers in good agricultural practices to increase crop yield, improve the quality of green beans and at the same time, reduce operational cost.”
He commented, “Green coffee grown under this coffee farming programme that meet Nestlé’s stringent quality requirements will be purchased by Nescafé.
Commenting on the programme, Kedah-based farmer Encik Mohd Rashidi bin Che Nai said, “Being a farmer is often challenging. There are many things that can affect our harvest, and our income. This programme is giving me a way to earn additional income so that I can better support my family and live a better life.”
Globally, since the launch of the Grown Respectfully Programme in 2010, there have been almost 120,000 farmer training sessions conducted, with an accumulated number of over 600,000 farmers positively impacted in one way or another.