I. AAA: the Nespresso long-term commitment to farmers
The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program involves paying premiums of around 30% to 40% above the standard market price, for the highest quality coffee and more sustainable farming practices. But our commitment goes beyond this; it is about a long-term relationship and continued loyalty to the coffee farmers in the program. This approach enables Nespresso to safeguard the future supply of the highest quality coffee, while paying farmers a higher income and protecting the natural environment.
By working together with our own network of agronomists, coffee trade partners and local NGOs, we provide the training, technical support and financial investment to help manage costs, gain efficiencies, improve crop quality, increase yields and protect biodiversity. For instance, together with the Rainforest Alliance and other leading NGOs, we have developed a unique Tool for the Assessment of Sustainable Quality, called TASQ™, which enables farmers to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices.
And our commitment to building loyal and lasting relationships with farmers on the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program goes even further. As long as the coffee is of the quality required for our Grand Cru collection, we will always buy from a farmer in the program, regardless of price fluctuations or how much AAA standard coffee the farmer produces.
We are on track to meet our goal of sourcing 80% of our coffee from our AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program by 2013, even though the volume of coffee we are producing has increased considerably. 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.
Testimonial: Cosme de Jesus, Colombian coffee farmer in Caldas
I have a small farm located in Caldas with 3,000 coffee trees. Fortunately, they have not been affected by the coffee leaf rust since my trees are young and I take good care of them.
I have been participating in the Nespresso AAA Program for about five years. Their agronomists are always visiting my farm and inviting me to attend workshops and meetings. They are always available to respond to our questions.
Thanks to them, I have learned how to better take care of my farm and coffee. I now make sure my coffee drying patio and equipment are clean and know when to wash the coffee so that it does not acquire an acidic taste. I am also disposing of waste properly and using my kitchen waste and coffee pulp as compost. By meeting these requirements, I am able to sell my coffee at a fair price and use the premium to buy fertilizer and maintain my coffee trees.
Besides learning best practices, we are also advised as to what coffee varieties we should plant. This is important since many farmers who do not belong to the AAA Program end up buying and producing very low coffee quality.
Cosme de Jesus, Colombian coffee farmer