Nestlé donates Cambodian factory to Hagar International
Nestlé today hands over vacated factory buildings in Phnom Penh to Hagar International, a Swiss foundation helping destitute women and children in Cambodia. The facility will be used to expand production of enriched soya milk by Hagar Soya, a commercial venture owned by the foundation.
The donation comes in the wake of an expanded partnership between Nestlé and Hagar International announced last February to fight malnutrition and poverty in Cambodia. This covers cooperation with the Nestlé Research Centre (NRC) near Lausanne and Nestlé Product Technology Centres to help optimise the nutritional composition of existing and new food products for low-income people, including the fortification of soya milk and an oral rehydration solution against diarrhoea for young children. Nestlé will also provide Hagar International with additional know-how on clean water supply, as well as further technical training for Hagar staff.
Nestlé’s partnership with Hagar International began in 2006, when Nestlé technical advisers started helping Hagar Soya improve its food manufacturing practices. Nestlé’s partnership with Hagar International covers activities in Cambodia, but may expand as the foundation develops similar programmes in other countries.
Hagar International was founded by Swiss national Pierre Tami in 1994 to rehabilitate destitute women and children, many of whom had been living on the streets. Over 100,000 homeless, trafficked and abused women and children have since been helped by Hagar International. The foundation is supported by a number of development agencies, including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the World Bank’s International Financial Corporation.
Hagar International has developed a number of successful programmes and three separately run businesses (design, catering and soya milk manufacturing) aimed at generating sustainable employment for underprivileged women and affordable nutrition for the population at large. Every month, nearly 20,000 children benefit from Hagar’s nutrition products aimed at HIV/AIDS sufferers, schools and hospitals. Since the inception of Hagar’s water programme in 2001, over 350,000 people have gained access to clean water in Cambodia. In addition to these social activities, Hagar’s businesses also serve about 100,000 customers on a commercial basis.
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