By Peter Ejiofor
Nestlé Nigeria Plc has reiterated its commitment to pursue an aggressive road map to increase its local content from current level of 80 per cent.
The company restated the commitment in a statement after its 2019 Suppliers’ Day event in Lagos, an annual meeting which brings together key suppliers of its raw materials, packaging materials, services and indirect services to share best practices.
It said an increased local content was expected to place the company at the forefront of supporting the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country through its local sourcing, backward integration and supplier development initiatives.
The statement quoted Mr Nestor Finalo, Supply Chain Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, in his presentation at the event as saying that: “Responsible sourcing has always been at the core of Nestlé Nigeria’s operations.
“We are committed to long term partnerships with our suppliers as we sustain efforts towards increasing the percentage of raw and packaging materials sourced locally.’’
He said that quality remained non-negotiable, adding: “As a company, we prepare for the future by investing in new technologies and products, while maintaining our strong focus on quality and striving for zero impact of our operations on the environment.
“Local Sourcing is not only a smart business decision to ensure supply but also the right thing to do as it contributes to transforming small and medium scale businesses involved in Nestlé’s value chain either directly or indirectly.
“Raw materials currently sourced locally by Nestlé include maize, cassava, palm olein, sorghum, soya and salt. The company also sources over 90 per cent of its packaging materials locally.
“The company is exploring more local sourcing opportunities which still exist for various spices, vegetables and high-quality cassava flour,’’ the statement quoted Finalo as saying.
The News agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event focused on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), ongoing measures for continuous improvement of suppliers’ performance and on consolidation of partnerships.
One of the facilitators, Mr Joseph Tanson, Country Procurement Manager, urged suppliers to take advantage of the new opportunities while adhering to the highest ethical standards and procedures in line with Nestlé’s responsible sourcing policies.
Participants at the event expressed their satisfaction, commending Nestlé for the continued collaboration with suppliers, which had provided opportunities for their development and in turn, the creation of job opportunities, a key touch point in the journey towards a more sustainable economic system for Nigeria.
Mr Sunday Bamikole, Quality Assurance Manager, Plantation Industries Ltd said: “The Suppliers Day hosted by Nestlé Nigeria was a fantastic event.
“I particularly like the fact that Nestlé is supporting and taking the lead towards ensuring suppliers are GFSI certified and commend the company for the sincere interest and support towards making our organisations globally competitive, while building long term relationships with us.’’
Dr Loretta Balogun, MD/CEO, LORYB & DP Ventures Ltd said, “Indeed, Nestlé is committed to not only sourcing all their raw materials locally but is also investing in small holder farmers in Nigeria by training them in best agricultural practices and empowering them to ensure they have a good life.’’
The participants noted that every day, Nestlé touches lives across its value chain in line with the company’s business principle of ensuring that it provides value for society while delivering value to its shareholders.
This business principle is called Creating Shared Value (CSV) and is embedded in the way Nestlé does business.
In Nigeria, the company is committed to improving livelihoods in the communities connected to its operations and to its value chain, from farm to fork.
Nestle Nigeria Plc began simple trading operations in Nigeria in 1961 and has today grown into a leading manufacturing and marketing company.
Nestle Nigeria is the biggest food company in West Africa. It employs around 2,300 people and has three world-class factories.
Nestle Nigeria manufactures and markets a range of high quality brands, including NESTLE PURE LIFE, GOLDEN MORN, MILO, MAGGI AND NESCAFE. (NAN)