Nestlé Indonesia currently absorbs 500,000 liters of fresh milk per day from more than 27,000 dairy farmers through our factory in Kejayan, East Java. Most of these dairy farmers live in the highlands, where only limited surface water can be found because ground water from lower areas cannot reach the altitude. Dairy farmers and their families had to walk up to three kilometers to depleting water sources, such as rivers and springs in other villages, in order to get water for their daily domestic use. This water shortage not only affected their quality of life, but also made it difficult for them to adopt good dairy farming practices.
To help tackle this issue, since 2008, a total of nine clean water access facilities have been built in communities surrounding Nestlé’s locations of operation in Indonesia, reaching approximately 2,300 households; five of these facilities are located in our dairy farmers’ communities in East Java, benefitting 1,300 households. An additional clean water access facility is currently under development, also in our dairy farmers’ community in East Java, which will benefit another 322 households. Upon completion, a total of ten clean water access facilities will benefit 2,622 households throughout Indonesia.
To help ensure water preservation, two supplementary initiatives have been implemented. First, creation of 100 infiltration ponds for rainwater catchment through the Indonesian Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IUWASH) program, in partnership with USAID. Each infiltration pond can hold up to 8,000 liters of rain water that would normally be lost or run off, which contributed to flooding. Water collected by the infiltration ponds also helps replenish the water table, which is a critical source of raw water. Second, tree planting to help rehabilitate forests and improve water catchment capacity, in collaboration with the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) through the NEWtrees program. The program started in 2012 in Lampung with 8,000 trees, and we continued with planting another 8,000 in East Java in 2013. We have been monitoring their growth ever since and will continue to do so until five years.
Today, in addition to helping improve the general health of dairy farmers and their family, access to clean water also enables dairy farmers to implement good dairy farming practices, including hygiene of their cows and the cowshed, which leads to an improvement in the cows’ general health. Healthier produce cows milk of higher quality, which in turn helps improve the dairy farmers’ income.