Driving Nestlé’s Income Accelerator Meet Three Key Leaders

I take pride in witnessing the transformative impact of Nestlé’s income accelerator program on cocoa farming.

Launched in 2020, Nestlé’s income accelerator program aims to bridge the living income gap for cocoa-farming families and mitigate child labor risks. It builds upon a decade of insights gained through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, emphasizing a holistic approach that extends beyond mere farming practices to encompass family welfare. The program incentivizes and empowers cocoa-farming families across four key areas:

  1. Education for Children and School Enrollment: By encouraging children’s education and enrollment in schools.
  2. Good Agricultural Practices: Focused on increasing yield through sustainable farming techniques.
  3. Agroforestry Activities: Aimed at enhancing farm resilience through practices like tree planting.
  4. Diversified Household Incomes and Women’s Empowerment: Supporting women in generating additional income streams while empowering them within their households.

To date, the program has positively impacted over 10,000 cocoa-farming families in Côte d’Ivoire, with a target to reach approximately 160,000 families for broader-scale impact. An independent report from the Knowledge Institute (KIT) indicates significant progress, with participating cocoa-farming families experiencing a 32% increase in yields and a 38% rise in net income, leading to more families achieving a sustainable living income. Moreover, there has been a notable 10-percentage-point increase in school enrollment among children.

Education has always held personal significance for me. As a child, I aspired to become a math teacher. Presently, I am deeply involved in the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, leading a dedicated team that supports cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire. Together with my esteemed colleagues—Luc Affoli, Mathilde Sokoty, Barbara N’Dri, and the rest of our team—we are the driving force behind the income accelerator program.

Luc Affoli, as the income accelerator project manager, has spearheaded collaborations with suppliers and farmer cooperatives, implementing initiatives such as pruning groups and the distribution of forest and fruit trees in accordance with Rainforest Alliance standards. Through interventions like pruning, farmers can optimize their yields and subsequently enhance their incomes.

Mathilde Sokoty, our Human Rights Specialist, focuses on facilitating access to education for children within cocoa-farming families. By incentivizing school enrollment through financial bonuses, we’ve witnessed tangible progress in encouraging families to prioritize education for their children.

Barbara N’Dri, an agronomist at Nestlé with roots in a cocoa-producing family in Côte d’Ivoire, is dedicated to sharing her knowledge with farmers to improve farming practices sustainably. Through her daily interactions and coaching sessions, Barbara instills regenerative practices that not only boost crop productivity but also contribute to environmental conservation.

Together, we are committed to fostering knowledge exchange, empowering cocoa farmers, and creating lasting positive impacts within their communities. Our collective passion lies in witnessing the transformation and potential unlocked within each farmer we support.

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