However, many coffee farmers live in uncertainty. The health of their crops and their incomes are under permanent threat. Ten years ago, Nestlé, therefore, launched the Nescafé Plan to improve farmer’s lives. The plan helped improve farmers’ incomes, reduce the environmental impact of coffee farms and factories and increase rural communities’ well-being in many countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines or Vietnam. Nestlé has invested CHF 350 million in the Nescafé plan since its inception.
Building on the significant progress over the past decade, Nestlé today pledged to increase its sustainability efforts.
Philipp Navratil, Senior Vice President, Head of Beverages Strategic Business Unit, said: “Together with our partners and 230 Nescafé agronomists, we improved efficiency and agricultural practices on farms, enabling farmers to command a premium price for coffee grown sustainably. We diversified sources of farmer income to reduce their dependence on monocultures and to make them more resilient. We will not stop here. Our programs will evolve toward better social conditions in and around coffee farms. We will double down our efforts on labor rights, child protection, youth and women empowerment.”
By 2025, Nescafé expects to have 100% responsibly sourced coffee, tracing it back to an identified farmer group. The coffee is verified or certified by independent organizations.
Nescafé will reduce and remove carbon emissions where it sources coffee and throughout its operations. Nescafé will also use environmentally friendly packaging. These are concrete steps that – among many others help Nestlé reach its 2025 packaging commitment and its 2050 net-zero ambition.
Nescafé’s partner, Rainforest Alliance, evaluates activities in coffee-sourcing regions worldwide to ensure they positively impact farmers’ lives. Rainforest Alliance regularly monitors farmers’ adoption of good practices and the evolution of related indicators like productivity.
“Our partnership with Nestlé on the Nescafé Plan is about improving and optimizing coffee farming. Working together with the Rainforest Alliance on training, monitoring and evaluation, Nescafé used data and evidence to adapt its activities with the coffee farmers. We are delighted to be their partner on this journey,” said Alex Morgan, Chief Markets Officer, Rainforest Alliance.
Through implementing the Nescafé Plan since 2010, Nestlé achieved the following:
- Currently, 75% of coffee for Nescafé products is responsibly sourced. In 2020 alone, Nescafé purchased more than 649 000 metric tons of responsibly sourced coffee, the largest volume from a single coffee buyer;
- Distributed 235 million high-yielding and disease-resistant coffee plantlets, exceeding the initial objective of 220 million. This contributed to the renovation of nearly 120 000 hectares of coffee farms worldwide;
- Developed and released 15 new Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties in five countries: Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Philippines and Thailand. These plant materials have higher productivity, resiliency and superior quality;
- Delivered more than 900’000 farmer training sessions on good agricultural practices. The objectives were to optimize productivity and costs, improve quality and reduce the environmental footprint through efficient irrigation methods or pruning techniques;
- Empowered more than 10 000 women and young farmers through leadership programs and training on household economic planning;
- Reinforced the business skills of more than 10 000 farmers with a focus on financial literacy, record keeping and entrepreneurship.
Nestlé will publish a new and expanded Nescafé sustainability roadmap before the end of the year. The company will continue to work diligently to foster a more robust and sustainable coffee sector.