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About our coffee commitment

The detail on the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program


How can farmers afford all these environmental, social and quality standards?

How does Nespresso protect biodiversity?

What are the social, economic and environmental benefits for the coffee farms and local communities?

How much does the farmer get paid?

What is the difference between the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program and other well-known programs e.g. Fairtrade or Organic?

What is the difference between Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program and Rainforest Alliance certification?

Is all the coffee purchased by Nespresso sourced from the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program?

Which countries does the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program currently operate in? / Why did Nespresso choose to run the Program in these countries?



How can farmers afford all these environmental, social and quality standards?



Nespresso has launched a series of public-private partnerships (PPP) with coffee suppliers, development agencies, and non-government organisations in order to fund initiatives that allow farmers to reap the benefits of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program and the Rainforest Alliance certification. Nespresso has provided matched funding for specific multi-stakeholder projects that have helped farmers increase their income.



How does Nespresso protect biodiversity?



Through its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program Nespresso is working to protect coffee ecosystems by promoting sustainable agricultural best practices in ecosystem conservation, wildlife protection and water conservation. For example, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program helps farmers find the right balance in managing water, soil and biodiversity while increasing productivity and coffee quality. Beyond preserving ecosystems Nespresso has also implemented some initiatives that seek to restore biodiversity. For instance, planting trees near water sources or providing funding in Costa Rica and Caldas, Colombia, for treating residual water in central mills.



What are the social, economic and environmental benefits for the coffee farms and local communities?



Nespresso is undertaking pioneering research with the leading Latin American business school INCAE to move forward the debate around the economics of coffee farming. So much of this debate in recent years has focused on coffee prices rather than on net farm income. Nespresso has created the Real Farmer Income™ (RFI) concept to describe our approach to implementing the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in a way that maximizes economic and social value for farmers belonging to the program. INCAE Business School has conducted a 400-farm survey to examine Real Farmer Income benefits versus non-AAA farms. Among the results, in the Caldas Region of Colombia where Nespresso and its partners have been working intensively, RFI on AAA farms is more than double that of farmers who do not belong to the program. The coffee farmers Tool for Assessment of Sustainable Quality (TASQ™), independently verified by the Rainforest Alliance shows that the Program is also stimulating social and environmental improvements in coffee areas and is helping to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of coffee growers.



How much does the farmer get paid?



The Nespresso premium fluctuates from country to country and over time but on average price premium for Nespresso AAA coffee was 35% above the New York market and 10%-15% above similar quality coffees. Within the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program Nespresso has created the concept of Real Farmer Income™. This means ensuring that the premium prices farmers receive result in an increase in net income through sound farm management practices. The direct work between Nespresso and farmers has also provided a better appreciation of the real income of the farmer. Farmers in most cases do not know their production costs or productivity levels and are mostly concerned with the final sale price, rather than net farm income. Farmers increase their income through improved productivity and quality while at the same time reducing their costs through production efficiencies. Within the Nespresso AAA Program these practices collectively constitute Qualitivity™. The new move towards Rainforest Alliance certification will help farmers mitigate coffee market volatility in the global market by giving them the keys to improved farm management, negotiating leverage and gain access to premium markets.



What is the difference between the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program and other well-known programs e.g. Fairtrade or Organic?



Certification is a key way of ensuring and assuring certain standards are met. However Nespresso will still have a unique focus on quality as part of Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program and also commit resources to workshops and training to help the farmers move towards the certification. The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program has been designed specifically to be applied to the unique requirements of the Nespresso business, combining the dedication to sourcing highest quality coffees with the principles of sustainable development - balancing economic, social and environmental outputs. Nespresso will still have a unique focus on quality as part of the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program.



What is the difference between Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program and Rainforest Alliance certification?



The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee was developed together with the Rainforest Alliance and, as such, has many synergies with the Rainforest Alliance’s certification. However, there are two main differences - Firstly the Nespresso AAA Program process was originally verified by the Rainforest Alliance but not certified. Secondly while Rainforest Alliance’s certification environmental standards focus on protecting the environment, the Nespresso AAA Program was developed to help farmers improve coffee quality as well as sustainable agricultural practices. With the new commitment made by Nespresso to source 80% of our coffee from our Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program including Rainforest Alliance certification by 2013, farmers will be able to implement the certification’s sustainable agricultural practices and farm-management system while continuing to obtain price premiums by improving the quality of their coffee.



Is all the coffee purchased by Nespresso sourced from the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program?



Over the past seven years the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program has grown in scale and breadth. At the end of 2010, we were already sourcing more than 60% of our coffee from roughly 40,000 farmers who are part of the program. By 2013 Nespresso is committed to sourcing 80% of its coffee from the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program, including Rainforest Alliance certification.



Which countries does the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program currently operate in? / Why did Nespresso choose to run the Program in these countries?



The Program currently works with farmers in seven countries: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua and India. These countries have been chosen due to their ability to produce high quality coffee that meets the taste and aroma profile required for Nespresso Grand Crus.



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