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Coffee – positive change for coffee growers | Nestlé – Nestle (UK)

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Coffee – positive change for coffee growers
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Like cocoa, coffee is another of our key ingredients whose supply chain faces wide-ranging and complex challenges. Demand continues to rise globally. But with other crops competing with coffee for limited arable land, farmers face considerable challenges, including their profitability, managing human rights and the effects of climate change in coffee-growing regions across the world.
Increasing productivity while improving sustainability is essential. So we are working to continuously improve our green coffee supply chain and make every cup more sustainable.
We need to change the economics of coffee farming – to improve the prosperity of farmers and their communities; to sustainably manage coffee landscapes; to be compliant with our Responsible Sourcing Guidelines (RSG); and to attract the next generation of coffee farmers.
Both the Nescafé Plan and the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program work closely with partners such as the Rainforest Alliance to assess and measure the impact of our actions on farmers, communities and landscapes.
Our Farmer Connect programme buys closely from farmers in coffee-growing regions across Latin America, Africa and Asia / Oceania.
In 2017, along with Nespresso, we began implementing our Farmer Advanced Management System (FARMS) in our Farmer Connect value chains. This provides us with a system-based, transparent value chain.
We also increased our focus on labour rights, partnering with international non-governmental organisation Verité and local Mexican NGO CPS to assess labour rights violations in Mexico’s largest coffee producing states and follow up with corrective and remediation actions.
In 2010, we launched the Nescafé Plan, the world’s largest coffee sustainability programme. It now has active farmer field programmes in 15 countries. The Plan aims to make the farming and production of coffee for Nescafé products more sustainable while improving the lives of farmers and the economic development of their communities.
Every year, we support around 100,000 coffee farmers and buy more than 800,000 metric tons of green coffee – more than 13 million bags – from more than 20 countries. Today, one out of seven cups of coffee drunk around the world is a Nescafé.
One of the focus areas of the Nescafé Plan is the traceability of our coffee. We want to know where our beans come from so we can assess the suppliers and farmers we source from and empower them to improve their practices, to become part of a more responsible – and sustainable – supply chain.
In early 2021, we published our Ten Years of the Nescafé Plan report (pdf, 4Mb). The report features voices from several value chain actors, including farmers and partners such as 4C Services, the Rainforest Alliance, and our own agronomists. It details the process behind our global Impact Assessment partnership with the Rainforest Alliance and the work we have been doing to implement monitoring and evaluation toolkits across farmer field programmes since 2014.
Being the world’s leading coffee brand comes with huge responsibility. It is about the quality and taste of our coffee. But it is also about the way we make it. And the people we meet along the way. Since 2010, hundreds of thousands of coffee farmers have benefitted from our programmes and we have almost halved our factories’ carbon emissions.
We are on track to have 100% responsibly sourced coffee by 2025. And we are moving to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging. Because we believe your day starts better with a cup of respect. Join us on our journey towards a more sustainable coffee sector.
Currently, 94% of our green coffee used in the UK is responsibly sourced and verified or certified by independent organisations.
By 2025, we aim to have 100% responsibly sourced coffee globally, tracing it back to an identified farmer group.
We are working to reduce and remove carbon emissions where we source coffee and throughout our operations. We will also use environmentally friendly packaging. These concrete steps – and many others we are taking – will help us to reach our 2025 packaging commitment and 2050 net-zero ambition.
Our partner, Rainforest Alliance, evaluates the results of our farmer field programmes around the world to ensure they positively impact farmers’ lives. Rainforest Alliance regularly monitors farmers’ adoption of good practices and the evolution of related indicators like productivity.
Our partnership with Nestlé on the Nescafé Plan is about improving and optimizing coffee farming. Working together with the Rainforest Alliance on training, monitoring and evaluation, Nescafé used data and evidence to adapt its activities with the coffee farmers. We are delighted to be their partner on this journey.
The rising global demand for coffee has increased the demand for the land used to grow it. In some cases, this has also increased the risk of:
That’s why for almost 20 years, Nespresso has promoted the adoption of sustainable farming practices through its coffee sourcing program, the Nespresso AAA™ Sustainable Quality Program.
The AAA Program was launched in 2003 in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance. Through the program, Nespresso’s 415 agronomists work directly with more than 120,000 farmers across 320,000 hectares in 12 countries, empowering them to improve the productivity, quality and sustainability of their coffee farming. They provide support, training, financing, and technical assistance to embed sustainable practices on farms and the surrounding landscapes, improving the yield and quality of harvests. By building trust, loyalty and long-standing relationships with coffee producers Nespresso is making a positive difference to sustainable communities, including:
Nespresso sources 93% of its coffee through the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, including 48% certified Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade.
In 2021, Nespresso published the results of The Positive Cup, the company’s seven-year sustainability strategy (2014-2020) including a series of ambitious goals relating to coffee, climate and recycling aluminium, and an investment of CHF 585 million.
Nespresso has reduced the carbon footprint of its cup of coffee by 24%, compared to its 2009 baseline, through investment in the expansion of renewable energy use, introducing eco-design into products, sourcing low carbon materials and optimising logistics.
Other key milestones include:
Read more about Nespresso’s sustainability strategy and initiatives here >
It is impossible for one organisation to tackle these matters single-handedly. We work with a wide range of external organisations to effect change. These organisations can also provide independent third-party evaluation of our work and our supply chain.
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