Nestle says it wants to source 20% of its most important raw materials from regenerative agriculture worldwide by 2025 and 50% by 2030

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FRANKFURT , June 3, 2022 (press release) –

- Together with partners, Nestlé Germany is committed to more biodiversity.

The sowing for new flowering areas has been done, soon the first trees will be planted: The EU Life project "Insect-Promoting Regions" has now started in all seven German pilot regions. The Lake Constance Foundation launched the project, which is funded by the EU Commission, together with Nestlé Germany, the Global Nature Fund, the Blooming Landscape Network and the Schwäbisch Hall farming community.

The common goal of all partners: sustainably promote and protect insects and biological diversity - and bring concrete measures to the area. Because: “Around 48 percent of the wild bee species in Germany are endangered or already extinct. The number of insects on and in the soil has also decreased rapidly,” explains Andrea Schwalber, sustainability expert at Nestlé Germany. "If the buzzing of bees, bumblebees and Co. stops, this has fatal consequences for the food industry. Three quarters of the global food plant species are dependent on pollinators.” Effective insect protection measures, systems and monitoring tools are being tested and optimized in the project. New innovative approaches should also be tried out.

Flowering areas, trees and fewer pesticides help insects and ensure healthier soil

In order to create new habitats and food sources for insects, the project team is focusing in particular on agricultural land. “We are considering where and how we can create added value for insects in the landscape and on agricultural land. Among other things, this includes measures such as flowering undersown crops in cereals and maize, but also the increased use of organic fertilizers," says Tobias Ludes from the Global Nature Fund. “We also make sure to set up enough ecological structures, such as fallow land, flowering areas or trees. This creates habitat for birds, insects and plants. This is not only good for biodiversity, but also for the climate.” Newer agricultural techniques should also be used, for example meteorological stations in the field,

The working principle: bringing all those involved in the region to one table

In order to bring insect protection to the area, the work focuses on the most important land users in the region: municipalities, companies, associations and agriculture. Together, representatives of these stakeholders – above all from agriculture – are developing a regional Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). The farms contribute to the goals with a farm-specific BAP. A so-called Biodiversity Performance Tool supports farmers in reviewing the measures. The regional working groups monitor developments in the regions with the help of a monitoring system. This makes it clear whether the selected measures are effective and successful and where improvements still need to be made. The monitoring also serves as proof of the achieved goals, especially for the EU as project sponsor.

Nestlé suppliers from Wendland and Bliesgau are taking part in the project

Nestlé Germany is active in the project in two regions together with the Global Nature Fund. In Wendland, Lower Saxony, herb and vegetable supplier Steinicke, one of more than 500 suppliers of raw materials to Nestlé Germany, and eleven partner farmers rely on flower strips, trees and soil conservation through fallow land, among other things. Many of the herbs grown here make their way from the field to the Maggi products. In Bliesgau, Saarland, Nestlé supplier Bliesmühle starts with initially five farmers who supply wheat for the dough of the Nestlé Wagner Pizza. Here, too, new flowering areas are being created, and trees and overwintering catch crops are intended to ensure biological diversity and soil health.

"Together with our suppliers and farmers, we want to bring as much biodiversity as possible to the area and promote healthy, resilient soils with regenerative agricultural methods," says Andrea Schwalber and adds: "The EU Life project is another important step our journey towards our overarching climate goals.” By 2025, Nestlé wants to source 20 percent of its most important raw materials from regenerative agriculture worldwide. By 2030 it should be 50 percent. The company will invest 1.2 billion Swiss francs in this alone by 2025.

Measures should be transferrable to regions throughout Europe

“We've been working for a long time to make agriculture part of the solution to wildlife conservation. In the EU Life project, all partners contribute their valuable expertise. Because only together can we quickly bring the protection of biodiversity to the area," says Marion Hammel, Managing Director of the Lake Constance Foundation. “The results and experiences gained from the individual pilot regions should be transferred to the whole of Germany and regions in Europe and also flow into corresponding funding programs. Then we can master the challenge of getting from pilot projects to a broader base.”

The total budget of the four-year EU Life project is 3.4 million euros. The project website provides more information .

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