Nestlé’s support to Uganda coffee authority to help increase coffee yield

To Press Releases listMar 17, 2010

Kampala – March 18th, 2010: As part of its long term commitment to Uganda’s economic progress, Nestlé partnered with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) to improve the country’s coffee sector. The project aims to help develop coffee trees with improved productivity characteristics, higher disease resistance and higher quality which in turn help increase farmers’ competitiveness and income.

As one of the world’s biggest buyers of coffee, Nestlé has always and continues to take very seriously its responsibility to ensure that this crop is produced in a sustainable manner and in a way that produces value right through the supply chain – particularly for farmers.

Over the last 30 years, at its R&D Centre in Tours, France, Nestlé has developed the expertise to propagate higher quality coffee plantlets which have helped to rejuvenate coffee plantations around the world.

In 2009, Nestlé sponsored Mr Israel Ssebugenyi, a coffee scientist from the UCDA for a 12 month training programme on somatic embryogenesis (SE); an accelerated propagation method of reproducing large numbers of high-potential plantlets. The training, which took place at Nestlé’s R&D Center in Tours, focused on how to improve the propagation rate and the quality of Robusta coffee in Uganda.

“Nestlé purchased more than 154 million USD worth of coffee from Africa in 2008 and we are committed to helping the country strengthen its coffee production. Our decision to sponsor scientists like Mr. Israel Ssebugenyi is part of our business strategy to create shared value along our value chains - shareholders, employees, farmers, consumers and the communities where we operate,” said Pierre Trouilhat, Head of Region Nestlé Equatori

Mr Israel Ssebugenyi thanked Nestlé for offering the training opportunity. “The training I’ve received from the Nestlé’s Research Centre in France is very significant for the development of the coffee sector in Uganda. With the wealth of knowledge I’ve received through this training, I aim to help improve the lives of my fellow countrymen, especially the small holders who produce about 99% of the coffee in Uganda who predominantly grow the Robusta Coffee,” said Israel Ssebugenyi.

Ms Brinda Chiniah, Corporate Communication Manager at Nestlé Equatorial African Region, announced that the company will continue to work closely with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to ensure that the project benefits everyone in the value chain.

“In the year 2008/2009 Uganda produced 200,000 tonnes of coffee out of which, the Robusta variety made up approximately 80 percent, which makes it imperative for Nestle to work closely with the UCDA to enable the local coffee farmers and industry benefit from Nestlé’s knowledge and expertise,” concludes Brinda Chiniah

About Nestlé EAR

Nestlé Equatorial African Region is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest nutrition, health and wellness company — with sales of USD 99361 million in 2009. Nestlé EAR was set up in April 2008 and oversees the Nestlé operations in 20 countries: Kenya, Angola, Burundi, Comoros, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Malawi, RC, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.