Vevey / CH. (nsa) Nestle Group is helping to accelerate the development of China´s coffee industry with the construction of new facilities that will provide farmers with training in improved growing techniques, at the same time as promoting the beverage to more consumers. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the local government in Pu´er, Yunnan province, agreeing to invest in a Nescafe Coffee Centre in the region that will include a coffee farming institute and a consumer experience centre. The institute, which will be the largest of its kind in China, will provide training to 5’000 farmers, agronomists and coffee business professionals every year. The experience centre will be used to raise the profile of coffee grown in Yunnan province among consumers from China and the rest of the world. The site will also provide much-needed infrastructure to support rapidly expanding coffee production in the region. It will offer modern warehousing facilities and a quality testing laboratory that will help to set local benchmarks against international standards. «We have worked with farmers and the local authorities in Yunnan province for 25 years to develop the region into a world-class coffee growing district», said Heiko Schipper, Managing Director of Nestle´s Food and Beverage Division in the Greater China region. «Over that time, our agronomists have provided more than 8’500 farmers with free agricultural assistance and training in improved growing techniques. This new centre is a continuation of our long-term investment in the future of coffee production and consumption in China», he added.
Nestle announced its investment in Yunnan province just two days after it said it would continue with the second phase of its five-year, 500 million CNY (more than 70 million CHF) investment in its ice-cream business in China. The company completed the first phase of the investment last year with the installation of new equipment at its ice cream cones factory in Guangzhou province. This will increase production capacity to over two million per day, making the factory Nestle´s largest ice cream cone manufacturing facility in the world.