Coffee farmers in Côte d’Ivoire are boosting their agricultural practices as the demand for Nescafé coffee grows in the country and across the globe.
About 5,500 cups of the soluble coffee brand by Nestlé are consumed every second worldwide.
To meet this growing thirst for coffee, the company committed to provide Ivorian farmers with over 27 million high-yielding disease-resistant plantlets which will be developed by Nestlé Research and Development Center in Abidjan.
By doing this, Nestlé is looking to source coffee sustainably by working closely with the farmers and ensuring competitive prices, transparency and traceability.
Nestlé’s work with Ivorian farmers is part of the Nescafé Plan – a global initiative rolled out to Brazil, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Kenya.
‘Hope for the future’
Coffee farmer Francois Dadi Serikpa, from the Ivorian region of Gnamagnoa, is just one of more than 147,000 farmers in eleven countries taking part in the Nescafé Plan.
The 65-year-old took up farming when he retired about a quarter of a century ago.
The former bus controller, who has 12 children and 21 grandchildren, initially started farming cocoa, before growing coffee and palm oil.
When the Nescafé Plan started in the country in 2010, Dadi was encouraged to attend training sessions with other local farmers.
Nestlé agronomists made regular visits to his farm and motivated him to learn about growing coffee more sustainably, based on Nescafé best farming practices.
“We believe in coffee because our ancestral culture is in farming,” said Dadi. “Coffee provides us with food, clothes and everything we need to live on.
“The coffee crops our parents planted are now shrinking in production so we need companies like Nestlé to teach us new methods in how to replenish our farms. This is our hope for the future,” he added.
Thanks to the Nescafé Plan, today Dadi is able to increase his incomes through an improvement of its production. There is an opportunity for farmers like Dadi to boost their production from 300-400 kgs per hectare to more than two tonnes per hectare.
The ten-year Nescafé Plan is part of the company’s CHF 350 million investment in coffee projects.
The Nescafé Plan brings together Nestlé’s pledge on sustainable coffee farming, supply, production and consumption – all under one umbrella.
It aims to ensure and promote responsible and sustainable practices across the company’s coffee supply chain.
This is part of Nestlé’s approach to business, which it calls ‘Creating Shared Value’. The company aims to create value in the supply chain, improve livelihoods for the communities in which it operates, and enhance its own activities.
Sustainable coffee collaboration
As part of the Nescafé Plan, Nestlé is working with the international non-governmental organization the Rainforest Alliance.
It has also joined forces with local organisations: National Coffee and Cocoa Board (CCC) and the National Agricultural Research Centre (CNRA) in the country.
Overall, with the support of the Rainforest Alliance and the Common Code for the Coffee Community Association (4C), all directly purchased green coffee will be compliant with the internationally recognised 4C sustainability standards.
Nestlé is a founding member of the 4C Association, which brings together producers, trade, industry, civil society and companies to work together on advancing sustainability across the coffee sector.
The 4C Code of Conduct has 28 principles that cover environmental, social and economic aspects, as well as ten unacceptable practices.
Future of coffee
To highlight Nestlé’s leadership in the direct purchase of green coffee, the company bought about 134,000 tonnes in 2012 through its ‘Farmer Connect’ programmes in the countries where the Nescafé Plan has been initiated.
Nearly 44,000 coffee farmers worldwide have benefited from technical assistance and training in the same year.
By 2015, Nestlé aims to buy 180,000 tonnes of green coffee from around 170,000 farmers annually.
By 2020, the Nescafé Plan looks to deliver 220 million high-yield disease-resistant coffee plantlets to farmers.
Nestlé also seeks to source about 90,000 tonnes of green coffee according to Rainforest Alliance and SAN principles.
THE NESCAFÉ PLAN IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE
Number of farmers involved in the Nescafé Plan in CI by 2014: 16,000
Number of cooperatives involved in CI by 2014: 50
Number of plantlets to be distributed in Côte d’Ivoire by 2020: 27 million
Global partners: Rainforest Alliance
Local organizations: CCC and CNRA