Nestlé is encouraging more female coffee growers in Kenya to take up leadership roles in farming cooperatives as part of its commitment to scaling up its business-related activities to promote gender equality and education for women and girls.
The company has launched a program to train more than 1,000 women in better agricultural practices at the same time as developing their confidence and business skills. Nestlé is working with nine coffee cooperatives with the aim of seeing women hold at least one third of all leadership positions within them by 2015.
“Women do more than two thirds of the work involved in coffee farming in Kenya,” said Svetlana Obruchkova, Managing Director of Nestlé Kenya. “However, fewer than 5% of leadership roles in coffee cooperatives in the country are currently held by women. We are encouraging them to move into leadership roles, so they can be adequately represented in decision making.”
Nestlé is running the training program in Kenya in collaboration with agricultural business services provider Coffee Management Services, as part of its Nescafé Plan activities in the country.
The Nescafé Plan—Nestlé’s global initiative to create shared value within the coffee supply chain—includes measures such as increasing direct procurement from farmers, offering them free technical assistance and training in agricultural best practices, and providing high-yield coffee seedlings at subsidized rates. The sustainably-farmed coffee sourced from the company’s Nescafé Plan activities in Kenya is used to supply its Nescafé Dolce Gusto business.