International Coffee Day

Impacting farmers and youth with Nestlé’s coffee journey in Central and West Africa 

Oct 1, 2017

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Aboulaye Konda, a coffee farmer from Bla in Côte d’Ivoire, is one of more than 147,000 farmers worldwide who are now benefiting from access to sustainable coffee farming practices and technical expertise rolled out by Nestlé.

The 48-year-old, who owns a nine-acre coffee plantation as part of cooperative Ecopab, joined the Nescafé Plan in 2013 – a global initiative launched in 2010 to improve our coffee supply chain by supporting and training farmers, to applying plant science to boost yields and quality.

Aboulaye used his training in good agricultural practices led by Nestlé agronomists to quadruple his production from 2,500kg in 2013 to over 10,000kg in 2015, significantly increasing his income.

In 2017 alone, over 2.0 million coffee plantlets were distributed to farmers in Côte d’Ivoire.

For Aboulaye, he has been so successful that his plantation was selected as a demonstration farm, showcasing best coffee farming practices.

Increasing demand for coffee

Working with farmers like Aboulaye through the Nescafé Plan is our response to meet consumer tastes and the growing thirst for coffee. Packed with protective antioxidants, coffee continues to be a popular beverage, habit and past time to millions in Central and West Africa and across the globe.

With more than 5,500 cups of our Nescafé coffee brand consumed every second worldwide, we have committed to continuously improve our green coffee supply chain by providing farmers with reliable routes to market and technical agricultural schemes.

Our pledge forms part of our three long-term ambitions and 42 commitments – in support of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) – set out in the report ‘Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments 2016’.

However, sourcing supplies of high quality coffee for Nescafé in the region and worldwide depends on the sustainability of coffee farming. Ageing trees, plant pests and diseases, low yields, volatile prices and climate change are just some of the factors that threaten the livelihoods of African farmers and the coffee sector.

International Coffee Day

As part of the Nescafé Plan – which is still currently active in 11 countries worldwide including Côte d’Ivoire – we are working with international non-governmental organisation, the Rainforest Alliance, and local organisations in Côte d’Ivoire, including the National Coffee and Cocoa Board (CCC) and the National Agricultural Research Centre (CNRA) to tackle these issues.

Our work and collaborations to improve our coffee supply chain in Central and West Africa marks the importance of this year’s International Coffee Day starting on September 29 until October 1, a global celebration of coffee’s journey from farm to cup.

Supporting entrepreneurship and employment

We are also improving our coffee supply chain on the ground with the ‘My Own Business’ (MYOWBU) street-vending programme, led by our out-of-home business Nestlé Professional.

Here, young people and adults across Africa are provided with the skills and expertise they need to run their own successful small businesses through training on sales, management, hygiene, safety and quality standards. They then recruit and employ 8-10 street vendors to sell Nescafé coffee in busy public areas such as stadiums, open markets and bus stops.

Comfort Dorkutso from Ghana is one of the thousands of MYOWBU employees who is now professionally independent and can financially support her family by working as a street vendor in the region.

Developing young people

Through our work on coffee, we are also helping to inspire and develop African youth while creating value for society.

In 2014, our brand Nescafé introduced the ‘Get Started Africa’ initiative to challenge young people to build a better society through innovation.

The 2016 winner, 21-year-old Korotoumou Sidibé from Mali, won the top prize of USD 30,000 with her innovative plan to eliminate food waste by paying food producers to convert supplies that would have been thrown away into products which can still be used – while small farmers in the region could benefit from extra income.

In the same year, Nescafé partnered with television programme ‘Africa’s Got Talent’ to find, empower and support the best of African talent, as part of the brand’s commitment to inspire young people across the continent.

Read more about our commitment to improving our coffee supply chain in the Nestlé in society global report 2016 (English PDF).