SA Kids On The Go

Nutrition is key to educational success

Nestlé South Africa, 5 Nov 2018

 Nutrition is key to educational success

At the most fundamental level, parents need to ensure that their children have the right nutrition for their particular developmental stage—and that’s especially true when it comes to developing a generation of children whose health and educational goals are intertwined.

By Adedoja Ekeruche, Business Executive Officer, Dairy at Nestlé South Africa
 Nestle Nespray 
Parents know that one of the most important investments they will make in their children’s future is ensuring they get the best possible educational start. With many making enormous sacrifices to give their children that vital head start, South Africa’s parenting agenda has seen caregivers actively look for ways to ensure their children receive the right nutrition to equip them to gain the maximum benefit from their education.
Promoting optimal child nutrition and thus development is a national imperative. According to Statistics SA, one in four children under the age of three in Gauteng‚ Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape suffer from malnutrition and, among many other disadvantages, will not be physically or mentally equipped to benefit from school.
It is thus vital that we work together with parents, on improving the nutrition their children receive and help drive a sustainable change in nutritional habits. By working with parents or guardians to provide nutritional knowledge and support that is appropriate for a child’s developmental stage, we will be better placed to reduce the instances of undernourished, overweight and/or obese children. A key strategy here will be to link health and educational goals, investing in the development of nutrition for school-age children.  
However, providing the necessary balanced diet to ensure their children can realise their academic potential, as well as develop healthy bodies and a strong immune system, can make many parents anxious about their choices. Recognising that childhood nutrition is a broad and complex subject, we believe that parents will value help that is founded on the scientific side of nutrition. Leveraging our journey as a parenting partner, Nestlé has developed a product range that satisfies the requirements of each developmental stage. For example, NESTLÉ NESPRAY FORTIGROW is scientifically designed with balanced nutrients to get your child’s body and mind ready for school. It contains iron to support your child’s cognitive development such as learning and B-Vitamins to support the normal nervous system function. Zinc, Vitamins A and C to support normal immune function and high in Protein and contains Calcium Vitamin D to support normal growth.
One of the farmers that supplies large amounts of milk to the NESTLÉ factory in Mossel Bay is George Kuyler of Skimmelkrans Farm
“To nourish growing minds, we focus on providing our future leaders with brain support, immune support and growth builders,” said Adedoja Ekeruche, Business Executive Officer - Dairy at NESTLÉ. “To do this, we work with the farmers and nutritional scientists to not only standardise the milk that goes into the NESPRAY full milk powder, but the milk powder itself, so every sip of every glass has the same nutritional value. A large part of that lies in supporting our farmers deliver to world-class standards and practices.”
Skimmelkrans Dairy Farm_Nestle Nestle Dairy Farm_Skimmelkrans 
One of the farmers that supplies large amounts of milk to the NESTLÉ factory in Mossel Bay is George Kuyler of Skimmelkrans Farm. Kuyler and his family have had a relationship with NESTLÉ that has lasted more than 60 years. In that time, the partnership has resulted in NESTLÉ becoming an integral part in the development of Skimmelkrans into a world-class dairy farm, complete with a state-of-the-art rotary milking parlour. 
Skimmelkrans - a world-class dairy farm for Nestle Dairy Farm _ Nestle
 “Sustainable development of dairy farming has not always been easy. Fluctuating prices and competition from overseas producers make dairy farming a difficult marketplace in which to successfully operate. To help mitigate these challenges, we have found working with NESTLÉ offers us a reliable market for our milk, while helping us grow our business in a sustainable way.” says George Kuyler.  
Each of the Skimmelkrans cows are tagged, and all their data is captured on a specially designed computerised system. The system tracks what the cows eat and how much milk they provide. Built-in scales weigh each cow, reading their chip for the computerised system, allowing Kuyler and his team to assess whether they have lost weight and need more food added to their diet.
 Skimmelkrans world-class dairy farm supported by Nestel cows are tagged, and all their data is captured on a specially designed computerised system Cows being milked_Nestle
“The majority of the cows’ diet is pasture based, as grass-based diets are known to provide better milk yields with higher milk fat levels. Growing children need protein to help them build and repair cells and body tissue.  
One of the major challenges of being a pasture-based dairy farmer in the Western Cape is keeping the grass optimally irrigated, especially in the more recent water-stressed years. To assist Kuyler in mitigating these challenges, NESTLÉ brought in irrigation consultants to help him work out a sustainable water management plan. Through the implementation of soil moisture readers, Kuyler is able to gauge exactly how much moisture is in the ground and how much irrigation water is needed to maintain optimal water levels for the growth of the grass. This added to the greywater system, where water used around the farm is repurposed where possible, has helped make Skimmelkrans one of the country’s most environmentally advanced dairy farms and not surprisingly received the 2018 National Stewardship Award from the Dairy Mail.
Nestle_Pasture Dairy Farm The majority of the cows’ diet is pasture based, as grass-based diets are known to provide better milk yields with higher milk fat levels
Much care is taken to ensure that the cows being milked are free of any anti-biotics or hormones, further ensuring the superior quality of the milk. Apart from this, each of the 37 farm workers take care to maintain their daily routine to avoid unnecessary stress to the cows with any kind of changes or shifts in their daily lives, as a happy cow delivers better milk.” added Kuyler.
Dairy Farm Workers Milking Cows Dairy Farm Workers keeping it all clean 
Testing the Milk before loading into Trucks Nestle Mild Truck Getting filled up
“Having recently been awarded Farm workers Farm of the Year, an award voted on by the workers themselves speaks to the authenticity of the relationship I have with the farm workers. Over the years we have become family- focused on the goal of providing the best quality milk that supports the nutritional development of our future leaders. I would like to thank NESTLÉ for enabling me to ensure that our farming practices are sustainable for both the environment and the community in which we operate.” added Kuyler
The NESTLÉ NESPRAY factory, situated in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, receives around 400 tonnes of fresh milk from the surrounding farms every day, including Skimmelkrans, which provides around 22 000 litres. Many of the farms are situated in remote locations and only produce a limited amount of milk. However, NESTLÉ sees the value in even the smallest farms in order to uplift outlying communities. One such farm is a farm owned by the Griqua National Trust, Jakkalskraal, which serves the Griqua community of Kranshoek near Plettenberg Bay.
“In supporting these farms, NESTLÉ not only helps ensure the quality of the products, but we help develop the small farmers into healthy, thriving enterprises that can boost local employment and generate economic growth for our communiuties.” concluded Ekeruche
For more details about NESTLÉ NESPRAY`s work with the famers please visit  
How Nestle is made_Storyboard 

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