CSR projects by Nestle Lanka
Nestle is a leading food and beverage company, with the majority of its products being based on dairy. In Sri Lanka, they obtain their raw material, in this case, milk, from farmers; to do so, they have to create a conducive environment for farmers to be efficient in milk production. Nestle Sri Lanka achieves this by engaging in corporate social responsibility, enabling them to give back to the community. In so doing, they boost the community and the country at large.
In Sri Lanka, the provision of water is a very challenging problem for the government and citizens; statistics show that water is available for only 10% of the population. The water shortage arises due to the prolonged dry spells and high daytime temperatures reaching about 36 degrees; this causes water sources to dry up and dug wells to run.
The government tries to cope with this problem by providing tankers that take water every once every two days to the affected locations. This is a cheaper and more effective measure for the citizens, as buying water from private vendors costs 34 more dollars. Village farmers, however, find an alternative to this by buying the water in small quantities that amounts to about one cent in cost.
This is a key issue as water is a daily need for all households for cleaning, washing, and cooking. Without water, these activities that are vital for human life are rendered unachievable. Hygiene is also not attained due to lack of water; this creates a significant health issue as it spreads infectious diseases. These diseases reduce the life expectancy of people in the area at the same time, increasing infant mortality. Towards the government, healthcare costs are also incurred in managing health centers tasked with treating diseases and epidemics. This increases the government expenditure on deviated matters rather than solving the key issue of water shortages.
The government has also failed to create awareness of water conservation to solve this crisis. For farmers, alternatives to the current farming methods have not been provided; thus, they cannot prevail over the water shortage seasons. Some farmers also engage in irrigation methods that do not implement water conservation attributes; thus, they lead to increased water shortages.
Nestle’s solution through CSR
In their CSR policies, Nestle has tried to play an active role in providing solutions to this water crisis. They have done so by drilling boreholes and restoring damaged borehole equipment in areas of large population density. These locations are majorly in schools where many students are found. Hygiene is a critical issue in schools because students found in many schools have a developing immune system that would face adverse effects if exposed to infectious diseases. Due to the large population density of students in schools, diseases are likely to spread faster; thus, hygiene, as a protective measure, should be fully implemented.
Nestle has also provided water storage facilities at the borehole centers and other parts of the community, increasing the efficiency in catering to the large masses. Apart from this, nestle has aided in incorporating water conservation and hygiene lessons into the school curriculum. This helps in creating awareness early in the community so that as they grow older, implementation will be inbuilt for all community members. The school also provides a larger network of reaching members of the community as once the children go to the different homes; they can reach more people through their association with other adults in the community.
Nestle has changed the water crisis in Sri Lanka, and expansion in the projects will boost the well-being and sustainability of communities. All organizations should be required to play a role in solving critical issues in the surrounding community.
Sri Lanka also faces milk shortages; this forces stores and other companies that require milk as a raw material to adapt to external sources for milk, leading to an increase in imports. Statistics show that Sri Lanka spends about 400 million dollars a year on importing milk powder. The government states that this has drained foreign exchange resources. This has created a necessity for the government to make policies that boost local milk production at the farmer level and industries associated with milk products. Before this, the government concentrated more on the consumers as a protective measure from exploitation by external companies associated with milk products.
Solution provided by Nestle through CSR
Nestle had to include this issue in their corporate social responsibility programs because it affects their productivity and returns as an organization; apart from that, they saw the need to boost the farmer at the result. Since their establishment in the region, they have worked hand in hand with farmers to provide them with a stable market for their milk. Apart from this, they have carried out incentives that increase milk production.
Nestle provides farmers with mobile clinics, insemination care, and other veterinary services that assure the well-being of their cows. This is important as most farmers are uneducated on animal diseases and do not know what steps to follow in preventive and curative measures. This increases their production efficiency and maintains high-quality milk free from infectious diseases.
Nestle has also provided remote collection centers for milk equipped with coolers that preserve the milk from the source to its destination at the factory; this reduces transportation costs to the farmers, increases hygiene in handling milk, and also encourages more farmers to engage in dairy farming due to reduced operational costs.
In the long run, Nestle has also reduced expenses undergone by the government in foreign exchange as through increase and consistency in milk supply; they can increase their production and cater for the significant demand in the country.
Read more about how Nestle Lanka CSR helps the island nation
- Mendis, S. S., & Edirisinghe, J. C. (2014). Milk Powder Imports and Government Policy: The Case of Sri Lanka. Journal of Agriculture Economics and Rural Development, 86-91.
- Perera, A. (2016, October 18). In parched Sri Lanka, biggest shortage is of water policy: experts.