New York, September 21 – Today, Nestlé pledged a two-year, $400,000 grant to support food and nutrition system initiatives led by the Earth Institute, Columbia University, within the Millennium Villages project. Funds will be used to advance progress towards eliminating hunger, increasing food security, and achieving the nutrition-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the 14 Millennium Villages across ten countries in Africa. With this commitment Nestlé expands and deepens its relationship with the Institute, becoming a Strategic Partner of the Earth Institute Corporate Circle and joining the ranks of key private sector leaders who are making considerable progress toward sustainable development.
The pledge comes at the cusp of a three-day UN Summit to assess and accelerate progress towards the 2015 MDGs. “This week, as leaders from around the world gather at the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit, it is partnerships such as the one with Nestlé that move us closer to achieving the goals,” said Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General. “A billion people on this planet are hungry – this is a global tragedy that requires urgent attention. The Millennium Villages in Africa are proving that we can meet Millennium Development Goals for nutrition and beat global hunger.”
This critical pledge from Nestlé reflects the company’s stated commitment to nutrition, water, and rural development through its “Creating Shared Value” business approach. Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke said, “Creating Shared Value is a fundamental part of Nestlé’s way of doing business. It means that for a company to be successful in the long term, it should not only create value for shareholders but also for society at large. We believe that businesses that build corporate social responsibility into their basic business model can make a significant contribution to society, and the UN MDGs. Nestlé is proud to support the Earth Institute in its global food and nutrition systems and to be part of this exciting time in proving how we can meet goals for global development.”
The commitment from Nestlé will facilitate diversified maternal and young child nutrition campaigns in Millennium Villages that promote food access and production, antenatal nutrition, school meals programs, and nutrition education. Plans also include capacity-building initiatives that will help Millennium Village communities meet their own needs for nutritional expertise. In addition, Nestlé’s commitment will support an aggressive anti-malnourishment campaign in the Millennium Villages as a joint endeavor between the Earth Institute and the World Food Programme, a program that can serve as a demonstration model for global anti-hunger campaigns.
Finally, Nestlé’s pledge will help the Earth Institute capitalize on Columbia University’s academic expertise and facilitate cross-sector dialogue to help create a sustainable global food system that is secure, equitable, feasible, healthy and environmentally sustainable for all human beings across the globe.
About the Earth Institute, Columbia University:
The Earth Institute’s mission is to mobilize the sciences, education and public policy to achieve a sustainable Earth. Through interdisciplinary research among more than 500 scientists in diverse fields, the Institute is adding to the knowledge necessary for addressing the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. With over two dozen associated degree curricula and a vibrant fellowship program, the Earth Institute is educating new leaders to become professionals and scholars in the growing field of sustainable development. We work alongside governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals to devise innovative strategies to protect the future of our planet.
About the Millennium Villages Project:
The Millennium Villages Project is a partnership initiative between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Millennium Promise Alliance, and UNDP, working with impoverished rural communities to apply evidence based policies and interventions recommended by the UN Millennium Project combined with local on-the-ground knowledge and experience. The core idea of the MVP is to demonstrate that investing in practical interventions – such as improved seed and fertilizers for raising crop productivity, nutrition and school meals, long lasting insecticide-treated bed nets to reduce malaria, clinics to dispense effective treatment and care, and safe drinking water – would lead to a transformation in village life. The 80 Millennium Villages, covering 500,000 people in “hunger hotspots”, in ten sub-Saharan African countries with varying agro-ecological settings, demonstrate that the Millennium Development Goals are achievable with the right approach and level of investment.
About Nestlé S.A.:
Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Worldwide Nestlé employs 278,000 employees, the Company achieved sales of almost USD 99 billion in 2009. In the USA, Nestlé is represented by Nestlé USA, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Nestlé Waters North America and Nestlé Professional. Well-known Nestlé brands include: Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé® Nesquik®, Nestlé® Coffee-mate®, Stouffer’s®, Lean Cuisine®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, Nescafé®, Buitoni®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®,, and Wonka®.