Nestle on track to attain sustainability goals in first net zero carbon emissions dairy farm

SOUTH AFRICA – Nestlé has announced that its first carbon neutral dairy farm, Skimmelkrans in George, South Africa, is past the halfway mark to reaching the net-zero carbon emissions goal.

The project was launched by the food giant last year December with the commitment of becoming carbon net zero by 2023.

Assessing the progress made so far, Nestle notes that the farm which produces products such as Nestlé MILO and Nestlé NESPRAY, has already attained 11% increase in milk production per cow, 40% reduction in energy by using solar and 45% increase in active carbon in soil.

“We have worked very hard to ensure that the Skimmelkrans project is not only successful in achieving net-zero carbon emissions but becomes a model that farms operated by Nestlé can effectively implement.

“In just over a year, we are beginning to see some positive results through this project,” says Hoven Meyer Agricultural Services Group Manager at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

The results were validated by independent soil experts through testing, screening and analysing of the soil; which confirmed that if the farm keeps the momentum, it could achieve net-zero carbon emissions before 2023.

“This project is really pioneering regenerative agriculture practices that are key in our response to ensuring sustainable production and job creation.”

Saint-Francis Tohlang – Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region

The Skimmelkrans farm has set itself apart through prudent soil work, water conservation, feed management and manure processing, where the most significant reductions of greenhouse gases occur.

During milking, cow manure is collected and separated into liquids and solids using a manure press.

The separated liquids go back to the pastures as irrigation, while the solids are released into the soil as compost.

The farm has used about 4000tons of chicken manure as organic fertilizer – replacing some chemical fertilizer with a high carbon footprint.

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“We are proud of the progress to date and are motivated to work even harder in realising our goal of being carbon net-zero at this farm by 2023.

“This project is really pioneering regenerative agriculture practices that are key in our response to ensuring sustainable production and job creation,” says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region.

In South Africa, through the company’s farmer support and partnerships, Nestle procures milk from around 140 local dairy farmers, therefore creating over 4000 permanent jobs.

Nespresso launches new coffee blend from DRC

In other related news, Nespresso, the coffee operating unit of the Nestlé Group, has officially released Kahawa ya Congo, the first organic coffee blend in its Reviving Origins range and a coffee that helps revitalise one of the world’s most fragile farming regions.

Meaning ‘hope of Congo’, the Kahawa ya Congo seasonal blend is grown on the rain-rich volcanic soils of Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where the once-thriving coffee farming community has been devastated by decades of political and economic instability.

The Reviving Origins program is an integral part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, the brand’s sustainable sourcing model in coffee producing countries.

Launched in 2019, the CHF10 million (US$10.3m) program is set to run for five years (2019-2023) and aims to restore coffee production in regions where it is under threat from adversities such as conflict, economic hardship and environmental disasters.

Nespresso, together with global non-profit TechnoServe, the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) and coffee trader Virunga Coffee/Olam International, are working with 2,500 farmers in South Kivu to improve coffee quality and yield, and embed sustainable farming practices, while increasing incomes.

The company is also in the process of expanding the programme across North Kivu to potentially include up to 1,700 organic certified farmers, reports Bizcommunity.

Alongside this launch, Nespresso is also reintroducing two other seasonal Reviving Origins coffees for 2021, helping bring long-term economic stability to local farmers, as well as showcasing their craftsmanship to the world.

These are Amaha awe Uganda, a single-origin coffee with medium acidity and body grown in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda; and Tamuka mu Zimbabwe, a flowery espresso from the famous Honde Valley in the Zimbabwean Eastern highlands.

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