BOGOTÁ, Colombia, Nov. 28, 2017 (PRNewswire) — Nespresso announced Tuesday it will expand its coffee-sourcing program for the first time into several former conflict zones as part of a $50 million investment in sustainable high-quality coffee cultivation in Colombia.
President Juan Manuel Santos addressed the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board where he welcomed the company's commitment. He cited the investment as an important contribution to the development of post-conflict areas.
The pledge builds on Nespresso's long-term commitment to Colombian coffee and its efforts to improve production in regions previously impacted by the conflict, including reviving the industry in areas where production was lost. It follows Nespresso's limited-edition Aurora de la Paz (Dawn of Peace), a coffee sourced from the region of Caquetá and launched earlier this year as a symbol of the opportunity that peace presents for coffee farmers.
Early indications suggest that Nespresso will source up to five times more coffee from Caquetá in 2018, as it expands its efforts into areas that were inaccessible before the peace accord. The extension of the program will see coffee-sourcing for the first time from San Vicente del Caguán, a community that found itself at the centre of the armed conflict. This region has unique climate, with Arabica coffees grown at a low altitude and low temperatures. Combined with the high humidity, this characterizes the coffee with rich, fruity notes and fine acidity.
President Santos said: "Colombian coffee is the finest in the world. I welcome Nespresso's commitment to our country, which highlights the many opportunities that peace opens for Colombia."
Nespresso's agronomists have already started working with more than 500 producers in the Caquetá region in order to implement its AAA Sustainable Quality Program. The program works directly with farmers to improve their productivity, quality and sustainability by sharing good practice, providing technical assistance, and improving standards in farmers' environmental and social welfare.
Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nespresso, said: "Quality coffee, and the premiums that farmers can earn, present a very strong opportunity for the long-term sustainability and resilience of coffee farming communities. We are delighted to bring this incredible coffee to the world."
The Caquetá farmers will join the 33,000 Colombian farmers already enrolled in the AAA Program, launched in the country in 2004 and supported by a team of 150 local agronomists. The extension of the program into San Vicente will be implemented with the support of Nespresso's strategic partner, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC).
Roberto Velez, CEO of the FNC, said: "We are honoured to build on our partnership with Nespresso, to renew the commitment we have made to Colombia's coffee farmers and to work together with our communities for a lasting, peaceful and prosperous future."
Guillaume Le Cunff, President of Nespresso USA and CEO of the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund said: "Our work and partnership with farmers in Colombia is another example of how the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program impacts not just the production of the highest quality coffee, but also farmer lives and communities. We look forward to expanding our work with farmers in former conflict zones and extending our commitment to Colombia."
Key achievements of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality program in Colombia so far include:
- 33,000 Colombian farmers enrolled in the Program, supported by a team of 150 local agronomists
- Supporting 10'000 AAA coffee farmers to become certified by The Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International and Fairtrade USA
- Helping farmers to build resilience to climate change by driving the reforestation of 1 million native species of trees on farms by the end of 2017
- Supporting the FNC to renovate 100 million coffee trees
- Co-investing in water management systems in 25 critical water basins and promoting community milling facilities
- The introduction of a retirement savings scheme for 2000 farmers in Caldas together with Colpensiones and the Fairtrade International Organization
About Nestlé Nespresso SA
Nestlé Nespresso SA is the pioneer and reference for highest-quality portioned coffee. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nespresso operates in 64 countries and has more than 12,000 employees. In 2016, it operated a global retail network of over 650 exclusive boutiques. For more information, please visit our website at www.nestle-Nespresso.com.
About the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program
The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, launched in 2003 in collaboration with the NGO The Rainforest Alliance, empowers coffee farmers by investing in community infrastructures, paying cash premiums for superior coffee and best agricultural practices, and providing farmers with training, financing and technical assistance to continuously improve quality, sustainability and productivity. This approach drives improvements in social, environmental and economic conditions for coffee farmers and farming communities.
The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, also known as the FNC, is an advocate of more than 560.000 coffee producers. With over 90 years, the FNC works towards the well-being of Colombian coffee growers and the sustainability of the coffee sector.