Message from our Chairman and CEO Nestlé Middle East FZE
Globally, Nestlé in Society reports have been issued since 2004 representing a significant step forward in our drive to communicate transparently with our stakeholders about our actions in all the areas where we engage in society. In a world facing long-term economic, social and nutrition challenges, Nestlé believes that corporations have a role to play in contributing to solutions. Since 2012, we also started publishing forward-looking commitments and reporting on progress, holding accountability on our promises.
Nestlé Middle East is embarking on this journey for the first time this year, announcing our local commitments in the areas of nutrition, rural development and responsible sourcing, water, environmental sustainability, people and compliance.
Our heritage in the Middle East goes back over 80 years to 1934, during which we built a foundation of trust and credibility among the people of the region, living up to our global mission to enhance quality of life with good food and beverages everywhere. Today, Nestlé Middle East provides direct employment to over 11,000 people as well as indirect employment to several thousand more across different countries. It also means diversity, because that is what the region is really all about in every way.
As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we have a unique opportunity to help address the diverse nutrition challenges facing people across the world and in our region; from over nutrition to under nutrition including micronutrient deficiencies. We have the capacity, and more importantly, the determination to play a positive role in contributing to the solution by embedding the right actions into our work. We believe that good nutrition will become more and more important for both businesses and society.
That’s why our CSV strategy in the region focuses on nutrition, and we aim to provide tasty and healthy products, information and education to help people improve their nutrition, health and wellness, with specific focus on children to nurture healthier generations.
We emphasize continuous nutrition improvement of our products, based on scientific research and according to international recommendations, as well as micronutrient fortification to address specific local deficiencies. Nestlé also delivers clear nutrition labeling through the Nestlé Nutritional Compass that includes nutrition advice on portion guidance to help consumers make informed choices; we follow strict guidelines to ensure responsible marketing to children; and we remain the only infant formula manufacturer to be included in the FTSE4Good Index, the sole independent and transparent third-party assessing marketing practices of breast milk substitutes.
In addition, we implement nutrition awareness and community initiatives, namely the Nestlé Healthy Kids Message from our Chairman and CEONestlé Middle East FZE Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Middle East, Yves Manghardt, speaking about Food Security and Creating Shared Value at the Global Food Security Summit in Dubai, February 23, 2014. 11 Programme – Ajyal Salima. Launched in 2010 and reaching out to 9 to 11 year-olds, the Programme incorporates a tailored curriculum scientifically developed by the American University of Beirut (AUB), and is implemented in collaboration with local governments and NGOs. The success of this educational model and the scientific evidence that proved its effectiveness in changing behavior and increasing nutrition knowledge in children, have led to its adoption by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon and its roll out to other countries in the region.
In this report, we are also sharing our commitments in the areas of responsible sourcing, water, environmental sustainability, people and compliance through business practices embedded at the core of our operations. These include initiatives to produce more with fewer resources, reduce energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption, and address absolute waste.
We also work to foster further opportunities of starting and developing careers for the youth in the Middle East. An example is our Nestlé Center of Excellence, a training academy founded in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and now also rolled out in Oman. It trains university graduates in the areas of business, nutrition, and sales, with specific focus on women to enhance gender balance at the workplace.
Overall, our actions in Creating Shared Value would not be the success they are nor sustainable without the support and trust of the various institutions, governments, and other entities we work with in the region. We believe that concerted collective efforts can truly make positive impact in society.
As we publish our first ambitious Nestlé in Society Report in the Middle East, we know that there will be challenges ahead and we express our determination to meet our responsibilities and play our part. We look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions on how we can further improve in the future.