Nestlé Vietnam Strengthening Multistakeholder Cooperation to Boost Green Agriculture

10:14:27 AM | 1/10/2023

Multistakeholder cooperation in sharing sustainable farming techniques, combined with digital transformation to farmers and the regenerative agriculture model introduced by Nestlé in Vietnam, is aimed to build green, sustainable and low-emission agriculture.

Speaking at the Plenary Meeting of the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam (PSAV) themed “Adding green and value to agriculture” in Hanoi on December 5, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Le Minh Hoan said that Vietnam's agriculture not only serves 100 million people in the country, but is also a Top 15 exporter in the world, present in over 190 countries and territories. However, in the context of climate change, the market is affected by geopolitical factors and consumers' choices are changing, agriculture also needs changing to increase and create new values, and at the same time shows stronger responsibility to the international community, especially in terms of resource conservation, biodiversity, emission reduction, and climate change adaptation.

“Given commitments of the Vietnamese Government at COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, we are making efforts to transform towards an ecological, carbon-neutral agriculture in addition to the goal of food security," he added.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Binu Jacob, CEO of Nestlé Vietnam and Co-chair of PSAV, said that currently nearly two-thirds of the group's greenhouse gas emissions come from food materials and indirect business activities. Therefore, on its roadmap to net-zero emissions by 2050, reducing agricultural emissions through the application of a regenerative agriculture model is one of the most important things that Nestlé is pursuing in the markets. In Vietnam, regenerative agriculture is implemented by Nestlé through its NESCAFÉ Plan and multistakeholder cooperation initiatives on sustainable agriculture.

Through the NESCAFÉ Plan initiated in 2011, Nestlé Vietnam has strengthened public-private partnership (PPP) with partners such as the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI), provincial agricultural extension centers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, other organizations and partners. The NESCAFÉ Plan has successfully connected with farmers in the Central Highlands, improved the quality of Vietnamese coffee beans, applied sustainable farming methods, replanted old coffee trees, and increased incomes and ensured livelihoods for farmers as well as empowered female farmers.

At the same time, regenerative agriculture improves soil quality and fertility as well as protects water resources and biodiversity. Improved soil quality also helps increase carbon absorption in soil and reduce emissions. The plan has helped farmers to replant 63,000 hectares of old coffee, reduce 40% of irrigation water and 20% of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, increase income by 30 - 100% thanks to application of reasonable intercropping models and reduce carbon emissions per kilogram of coffee harvested.

In addition, NESCAFÉ Plan helps educate farmers to apply digital transformation on their own coffee fields. Specifically, the program has supported developing and building a tool for managing household dairies called Digital Farmer Field Book (FFB), helping farmers manage production and business effectively, control costs and profits and replace paper management. At the same time, it helps calculate details of carbon emissions on their coffee fields.

According to Mr. Binu Jacob, Nestlé's regenerative agriculture model has been successfully applied in coffee farming and can also be a solution for other agricultural sectors. Through the PSAV plenary meeting, Nestlé Vietnam also affirmed its role of increasing the value to agricultural products, helping Vietnam become a hub for food innovation in Asia instead of just exporting raw, low-value products.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is coordinating with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish a Food Innovation Hub (FIH), aligned with green, low-emission agricultural development. The ministry calls on the business community, domestic and international organizations to participate in FIH preparation and implementation,” said Minister Le Minh Hoan, emphasizing the role of businesses in agricultural production and product consumption.

The PSAV Program was initiated in 2010 within the framework of the "New Vision Initiative in Agriculture" of the World Economic Forum (WEF) towards a 20 - 20 - 20 goal (increasing productivity by 20%, reducing poverty by 20%, reducing emissions by 20%). Up to now, PSAV has eight sectoral Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Working Groups, including coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables, seafood, rice, spices and pepper, animal husbandry, and agricultural chemicals, participated by 120 organizations, including Government agencies, companies, industry associations, research institutes, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. PSAV is co-chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development that represents the public sector, and the CEO of Nestlé Vietnam that represents the private sector.

To add value to agriculture, within the framework of Vietnam Coffee Days from December 9-11, Nestlé Vietnam and the Vietnam Coffee Association (VICOFA) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation towards building a sustainable coffee industry, conserving natural resources, ensuring social security and improving the income of producers. For its part, as a pioneer that has successfully applied regenerative agriculture, Nestlé Vietnam will continue to share knowledge and good practices of this model in responsible and sustainable coffee production; help foster PPP and stakeholders to jointly solve challenges of Vietnam's coffee industry in particular and of agriculture in general.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum