Marking the one-year anniversary of ‘The Positive Cup,’ Nespresso’s 2020 sustainability strategy, Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso, said significant progress has been made towards improving the lives of thousands of coffee farmers in countries ranging from South Sudan to Colombia, as part of the company’s AAA Sustainable Quality Programme.
Over the past two years Nespresso has also been working with its partner TechnoServe to help re-build the coffee sector in South Sudan, resulting in the country’s first-ever coffee exports in 2013 and its first non-oil export to Europe. Nespresso aims to produce a new rare coffee from South Sudan, while providing alternative sources of sustainable income to local farmers.
“Through our sustainability investments, the first steps have been taken to rebuild the coffee industry in South Sudan, and we are helping to initiate a better future for farmers in Colombia through a retirement savings plan. These are small steps given the scale of the challenges, but I am proud that we can do our part to help farmers, while securing the future supply of the highest quality coffees for our business,” said Mr Duvoisin.
“I have seen that there is great change within the community. We want to produce the right quality. People now have hope. We will be able to pay school fees for children and in the end develop the country,” said Joseph Malish Thomas, a South Sudanese farmer taking part in the programme.
Nespresso aims to source 100 per cent of its coffee from its AAA Sustainable Quality Programme by 2020. This depends heavily on the extension of the programme into Kenya and Ethiopia, to support a more skilled, self-sufficient and sustainable farming community. In the last 12 months Nespresso and TechnoServe have provided training and technical assistance to over 10,000 farmers and will reach 50,000 farmers by 2020.
In addition to the expansion of the AAA programme in Africa, Nespresso has also made progress to implement innovative welfare solutions to ensure that coffee farming remains attractive to younger generations. Nespresso launched last year a pilot retirement savings plan, together with the Colombian Ministry of Labour, Fairtrade International, Expocafé and local coffee co-operatives, for farmers taking part in the programme in Caldas, Colombia. Already 850 AAA Fairtrade certified farmers have entered the retirement savings plan, set up within the framework of the Colombian Beneficios Económicos Periódicos scheme. The first savings were transferred into farmers’ dedicated bank accounts in May 2015.