Buying prices based on world market—Nestlé | Inquirer Opinion

Buying prices based on world market—Nestlé

/ 03:52 AM March 09, 2012

This refers to the article titled “Miracle brewing in P100-M rescue of coffee capital.” (Inquirer, 2/19/12)

The report states that “coffee producers there have no choice but to sell their green, unroasted beans to food conglomerates like Nestlé …. which both seek to keep prices low.” The story further says that “Since the company (Nestlé) buys almost all of the farmers’ green beans, it has the power to dictate the price.”

While it is true to say that Nestlé is the biggest buyer of green coffee in the country for the domestic production of Nescafé, we wish to clarify that our local coffee buying prices have always been, and continue to be, based on prevailing world market prices. Nestlé’s buying price, which is uniform throughout the country, is posted at our eight buying stations nationwide, supported by announcements via text messages and radio.

Coffee farmers are our fundamental partners in producing the highest possible quality of Nescafé for Filipinos, and we are one with government in promoting coffee farming as a viable economic venture.

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It is for this reason that Nestlé actively pursues an agronomy program aimed at helping coffee farmers improve both the quality and quantity of their coffee yield. At the center of this program is the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm (NEDF) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, which serves as a the hub of Nestlé’s agricultural research and training activities in the Philippines.

Through the Nestlé Agronomy Program, we aim to help farmers by:

• Providing them access to technological advances in coffee farming, including better techniques for growing coffee and adapting to changing agricultural conditions. The NEDF also develops and propagates ready-to-plant seedlings which are made available to farmers at cost.

In 2011, 2,600 hectares of new land were planted with Robusta coffee.

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• Making training accessible to them to transfer technical know-how and improve their coffee farming methods. Since 1996, Nestlé has trained over 11,000 farmers, coffee specialists, technicians, and students in coffee growing.

Our local Agronomy Program is an integral part of the global Nescafé Plan, which aims to make coffee farming a sustainable livelihood to farmers. The Nescafé Plan is, and will be, on top of our agenda in the Philippines for the long-term.

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Toward this end, we have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Nestlé and the National Convergence Initiative comprised of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Agrarian Reform. We also organized two landmark investors’ forums last year to encourage more investors to invest in coffee growing.

Working hand in hand with the government, we hope to be able to make a positive difference in the lives of the nation’s coffee farmers.

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—EDITH DE LEON, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs, Nestlé  Philippines Inc., Nestlé Center, 31 Plaza Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City

TAGS: agrarian reform, business, Coffee, DENR, economy, Farming, Nestlé

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