Swiss food giant Nestlé today (30 April) opened its new research and development facility in the Ivory Coast.

The new centre, part of the company’s Creating Shared Value drive, will focus on improving the quality of locally sourced raw materials, including cocoa and coffee. Researchers will also work on adapting Nestlé products to the nutritional needs and taste preferences of West African consumers.

Nestlé said higher quality local crops will allow the company to source raw materials locally, bringing more income to the region’s farmers.

“This is a further illustration of the principle of Creating Shared Value, Nestlé’s way of doing business, which simultaneously creates value for the company and the communities in which it operates,” Nestlé said in a statement.