The announcement came as the confectionery giant reported further progress toward its deforestation-free cocoa supply chain commitment by 2025.
Since joining the Cocoa and Forests Initiative in 2017, Nestlé has been working in collaboration with the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana where it sources most of its cocoa, its suppliers, its partners, and the cocoa farming communities.
The company said it has deployed considerable efforts to scale up its actions to help end deforestation, restore forests and ensure regenerative supply chains for forests and communities in the cocoa supply chain.
This underlines its determination to advance its forest positive agenda and source 100% of its cocoa sustainably.
In its Cocoaplan report, Nestlé's said its key achievements so far include:
- Restoring more than 400 hectares of forests in the Cavally Forest Reserve – one of the largest classified forests in Côte d'Ivoire - and in Beki and Toa Zèo forests. Nestlé is implementing forest conservation projects in those three areas to protect animals' natural habitats, such as elephants, and support nearby communities.
- Mapping over 104 000 farms in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana while expanding the Nestlé Cocoa Plan from 110 000 to 127 000 farmers.
- Distributing more than 2,2 million forest and local fruit trees to farmers to drive agroforestry and regenerative agriculture.
- Reaching 5 000 farmers and their families with community awareness-raising sessions.
Nestlé is also leveraging technology to address deforestation risks in the cocoa supply chain. In Côte d'Ivoire, the company uses the Starling satellite to monitor forest cover changes in the Cavally Forest reserve after successful results in its palm oil supply chains. Starling has helped local patrols group target their intervention, effectively leading to a decrease in deforestation and a positive impact on the natural regeneration of the forest.
In Latin America, Nestlé commissioned Global Risk Assessment Services (GRAS) across four countries - Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela - to assess deforestation risks in cocoa producing areas through satellite data. While results show that cocoa-related deforestation is mainly low and concentrated in specific areas, detailed mapping was provided to enable Nestlé to avoid sourcing from deforested areas.
As well as scaling up its actions to protect the environment, early this year, the company launched an innovative programme that rewards farmers for the quantity and quality of cocoa beans they produce and their benefits to the environment and local communities. Through its income accelerator programme, farmers will receive cash incentives for performing agroforestry activities such as planting shade trees to increase climate resilience.
“Working to improve farmers’ incomes, therefore, has the potential to help reduce pressure on forests,” the company stated.