Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2004 (Revised May 2005)

Nestle: Sustainable Agriculture Initiative

by Forest L. Reinhardt


Swiss food giant Nestle attempts to improve the performance of its suppliers of agricultural commodities to raise quality, lower costs, and contribute to sustainable development. Its initiatives focus first on coffee, cocoa, and milk. Nestle managers assert that the initiatives deliver both private benefits (better quality and reduced costs to the firm) and social benefits (higher incomes for farmers, better environmental quality in farming regions). Questions include the ways in which these programs create value for shareholders, the manner in which they should be marketed, and their efficacy in addressing social issues.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Environmental Sustainability; Social Issues; Business and Community Relations; Corporate Strategy; Agribusiness; Supply Chain Management; Marketing Strategy; Value Creation; Food and Beverage Industry; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry;


Reinhardt, Forest L. "Nestle: Sustainable Agriculture Initiative." Harvard Business School Case 705-018, December 2004. (Revised May 2005.)