Nestlé turns to flower power at its UK factories

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Nestlé turns to flower power at its UK factories

July 30
11:01 2013

Food manufacturing giant Nestlé has pledged to plant wildflower meadows at all its 13 UK factories within two years and to encourage its Scottish dairy farmer suppliers to plan wild flowers on their land.

The wild flower meadows at Nestlé sites are intended to “encourage the development of natural habitats while creating more green space for local communities”.

It expected the new meadows at its sites across the UK to attract a variety of wildlife, including different butterfly species – some of which are in national decline.

Nestlé has also promised to work with dairy farmers who supply its factory in Girvan, Ayrshire in  Scotland, in a bid to encourage them to plant wild flowers on their land.

Both plans are expected to result in new meadows totalling 30ha (75 acres) or the equivalent of about 250 football pitches.

‘Integral to the food supply chain’

Nestlé UK’s head of environmental sustainability Inder Poonaji said pollinators such as butterflies, bees and birds were integral to the food supply chain.

“By helping to restore natural habitats in this way, we hope to see an increase in local biodiversity,” said Poonaji.

“Our long-term goal is to work with more organisations, businesses and other stakeholders across our supply chain to make this a national project.”

The manufacturer’s staff, their families and local schools have begun planting the meadows, helped by experts from local branches of Natural England, the Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation.

Five meadows have already been established at Nestlé factories at: Girvan, Fawdon, Northumberland, Buxton, Derbyshire, Tutbury, South Derbyshire; and Dalston, Cumbria.

New mobile app

Nestlé also plans to launch a new mobile app that will allow employees to record butterfly sightings.

Information from the app will be shared with local nature and wildlife organisations, in order to contribute to the monitoring of butterfly numbers across the nation.

The firm said the wildflower meadow project was just one example of the firm’s global commitment to developing its business ways that safeguard natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services.

In France, for example, Nestlé Waters has worked with local farmers, businesses, residents, and gardeners, for more than 20 years to protect the natural sources of three of its most popular mineral water brands, claimed the company.

“Over the years, the ‘Agrivair’ initiative in the Vosges water basin has helped to improve the quality of soil in the region, while protecting its biodiversity,” it said in a statement.

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