Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program

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Working directly with coffee farmers worldwide

In order to be able to provide our consumers with high quality coffees now and in the future, Nespresso together with Rainforest Alliance initiated the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program™ in 2003.

Our goal was to build long-term and direct relationships with coffee farmers from the world’s best coffee growing regions, and improve their productivity, sustainability as well as coffee quality. Today, we source more than 80 % of our coffee through the AAA Program.

The Nespresso AAA
Sustainable Quality™ Program

Coffee farmers, especially smallholders, are vulnerable to volatile market conditions, unpredictable weather patterns and rising farm management costs. Additionally, the effects of poverty and urbanization in certain coffee growing regions make it hard for farmers to plan for the future.

Combining Nespresso’s coffee and quality expertise with the Rainforest Alliance’s know-how in sustainability and best-practice farming methods, in 2003 an extensive concept for sustainable sourcing was created. The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program comprises quality, as well as environmental conservation, social equity and economic viability.

The program is based on 296 sustainability criteria, defined by the Rainforest Alliance and the Sustainable Agriculture Network. More than 300 agronomists support farmers to develop customized plans in order to match these criteria. For their high quality coffees, we pay the AAA farmers on average a premium price of around 30% to 40% above the standard market price. The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program is a voluntary initiative; there is no contractual obligation on the farmers’ part to join and commercialize their coffee through Nespresso.

Facts & Stats

The program in numbers

  • Collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance since 2003

  • 70,000 coffee farmers in 12 coffee growing countries

  • 290,000 hectares of sustainably grown coffee

  • 296 criteria for social, ecological and economic sustainability, defined by the Rainforest Alliance and the Sustainable Agriculture Network

  • 300 agronomists support the farmers on-field in order to improve their productivity, sustainability and quality

A positive impact

  • A study conducted by the Centro de Estudios Regionales Cafeteros y Empresariales in Colombia shows the positive impact on the farmers‘ productivity and sustainability. Compared to non-AAA farms, AAA farms demonstrated

  • 22.6% better social conditions

  • 52% better ecological conditions

  • 41% better economic conditions

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