Nestlé Professional has reinforced its commitment to sustainable practices welcoming 12 key customers to one of its dairy farms in Cumbria which supplies them with fresh milk to discuss regenerative agriculture’s place in the future of farming.
The visit, which pre-launched Nestlé Professional’s ‘Is Regenerative the Future of Farming?‘ report, brought together contract caterers, farmers, managers of responsible sourcing and sustainability leaders. Attendees were given a tour of a dairy farm that supplies milk for use in products such as KitKat and Nescafé frothy coffee, before hearing from a panel about the key findings of the report. Nestlé’s ‘Milk Plan’ supports regenerative dairy farming in a partnership with First Milk co-op, to reduce the environmental impact by improving the sustainability and efficiency of the supply chain. Each farmer receives a ‘sustainability bonus’ for taking practical measures that protect and enhance natural assets on their land.
Katya Simmons, managing director at Nestlé Professional UK&I, said: “Regenerative agriculture plays a key part of the solution as we seek to build long-term food resilience and security.
“At Nestlé, we want to positively impact ecosystems, farmers, the environment and society, so our aim is to source 20% of key ingredients through regenerative agriculture methods by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Regenerative agriculture has huge potential to improve soil health and fertility, sequestering carbon, protecting water resources and safeguarding biodiversity. This can improve the resilience of farms and yields in the face of extreme weather, making an important contribution to the livelihoods and health of communities, as well as our planet.”
Attendees enjoyed a tour of the farm seeing some of the solutions put in place, including rotational grazing, mimicking nature to allow the cows to keep moving; digging up the earth to count earthworms, demonstrating improved soil health; and the planting of hedgerows to act as a nature highways.
The day was concluded with a panel Q&A from: Robin Sundaram, responsible sourcing manager, Nestle UK&I, Lee Truelove, responsible sourcing manager, First Milk, Robert Craig, vice chairman, First Milk, Richard Messenger, farmer, Howes Farm, Cumbria, and Julie Owst, head of sustainability, Bidfood.
Through the Q&A the panel discussed a number of topics linked to the new report ‘Is Regenerative the Future of Farming’, including what regenerative farming means to consumers, its impact on climate change and the role of policy.
Summarising its purpose, panellist Robin Sundaram, responsible sourcing Manager at Nestlé UK&I, said: “Climate change is one of the biggest threats to society and we are using our size, scale and reach to tackle climate change as part of our net zero roadmap.”
The report and panel discussion, which launches today, 18 October, can be downloaded from https://bit.ly/3FkW3Qr