Nestlé is set to invest R2.5bn ($131m) over the next five years in its work with Black-owned businesses in eastern and southern Africa.

The Swiss giant said the investment will go towards “sustainable procurement practices, supplier partner development and agro-processing initiatives within its value chain”.

The investment comes off the back of the Second Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference, hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa held last week.

Nestlé said several other businesses pledged over R261bn for procurement by public and private entities at the conference.

Nestlé’s spokesperson Mota Mota said: “We are proud to partner with the Black Industrialists Programme to promote inclusive economic development in South Africa. By investing in local talent and fostering entrepreneurship, we can build a more resilient and prosperous future for all.”

The KitKat chocolate maker also announced yesterday (27 March) it would invest $20m in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to “revive specialty coffee by 2026” through its Nespresso division.

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The funds would go towards coffee purchases, price premiums, technical assistance and community projects, according to a Nestlé statement.

The company is aiming to raise an additional $20m to support coffee-growing communities in Kivu in the DRC.

Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso, said: “Kivu has the potential to be among the world’s great coffee regions, but has faced extremely challenging conditions in recent years. Through our ‘Reviving Origins’ program, we work closely with Congolese farmers.

“We have joined forces with several partners, including the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI)/ASILI, TechnoServe, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), The Global Environment Facility (GEF), Clarmondial, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Virunga Coffee, to restore and revitalise Kivu as a leading source of high-quality, exceptional Arabica coffee.”