NESTLE Malaysia has kickstarted an initiative to help revive the Malaysian coffee farming sector in collaboration with the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), the Kedah State Department of Agriculture (KSDA), the Kedah Economic Development Authority (KEDA), Pertubuhan Kami Anak FELDA (KAF) and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
Launched on Sept 2, the pilot phase of the Nescafe Grown Respectfully Programme will commence in Kedah, which has optimal 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 Nescafe 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 and knowledge-sharing to maximise land utilisation for growing alternative crops and teaching the best agricultural practices to increase yield and productivity.
“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,” said Nestlé Malaysia Bhd CEO Juan Aranols.
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.
“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,” added Nestlé (Malaysia) Bhd Beverages Unit business executive officer Othman Chraibi.
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.