The institute will help farmers scale up their facilities and improve their management skills. The first construction phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
Nestlé is marking the beginning of the construction of its new dairy farming institute in Shuangcheng, reaffirming its role in the development of the Chinese milk industry.
The company announced in January that the institute in Heilongjiang province aims to be China’s leading dairy training centre, offering teaching courses from national and international experts.
The first construction phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
The institute will be supported by three training farms providing practical guidance to help farmers scale up their facilities and improve their management skills.
Farmers will be encouraged to use the latest agricultural technology and source high quality milk sustainably.
Nestlé, the local government, investors and farmers will work together to help create an investment fund of 2.5 billion Chinese Yuan Renminbi (over CHF 370 million) for the five year project.
“The emphasis will be on training farmers so that they are prepared to modernise their farms and deliver high quality milk in an efficient and responsible way,” said Heiko Schipper, Managing Director for the Food and Beverage Division at Nestlé China. “Increasing the skills of farmers is our first priority.”
Nestlé has agreed to work with the Shuangcheng government to build on the training and technical assistance already provided to local farmers.
Initially, the institute aims to educate about 700 farmers a year to help them improve milk quality and raise healthier cows.
Nestlé built a dairy factory in Shuangcheng in 1987. Since then the company has continued to boost the dairy industry in the region. Last year it provided training and technical assistance to more than 7,000 farmers. The average dairy farm size has nearly doubled.
“Nestlé has had a long partnership with China,” continued Schipper. “From the start, our company has worked diligently to develop the local dairy industry. We look forward to continue sharing our experiences, resources, technology and facilities.”
Creating Shared Value
Nestlé’s work with farmers in Shuangcheng is part of what it calls ‘Creating Shared Value’, an approach to business that aims to create value for the company’s shareholders at the same time as for those communities where it operates. Farmers benefit from sourcing high quality milk and gaining training expertise.
These efforts also boost the Shuangcheng region to drive its dairy industry and help Nestlé efficiently source high quality milk for its products.