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Coffee is one of our key ingredients and the coffee supply chain faces serious challenges. Farmers often have low yields and incomes, and this is compounded by environmental factors such as extreme weather events caused by climate change. We are addressing these challenges through programs such as the Nescafé Plan and the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality? Program.

Sourcing coffee responsibly

The Nescafé Plan and the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality? Program help us to source more and more of our coffee sustainably, while building resilient communities and landscapes. This is how we contribute to Creating Shared Value.


Our commitment

Continuously improve our green coffee supply chain

Our main sources of coffee

Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, C?te d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

Progress against our objectives

By 2020

70% of the total Nescafé coffee supply to be responsibly sourced.

Our result: 55% of total Nescafé coffee supply is responsibly sourced.

By 2020

Nescafé to improve the quality, quantity and sustainability of its coffee supply chain by distributing 220 million coffee plantlets.

Our result: 21.9 million?coffee plantlets distributed.

By 2020

Nescafé to improve coffee farm economics in at least four coffee-sourcing countries.

Our result: Improvements in farm economics in two coffee-sourcing countries.

By 2020

Nescafé to monitor and improve labor rights in at least two coffee-sourcing countries.

Our result: Targeted labor rights monitoring program in one coffee-sourcing country.

By 2020

Source toward 100% of the coffee for Nespresso’s permanent range through its AAA Sustainable Quality? Program on coffee sourcing.

Our result: 93.9% of Nespresso coffee sourced through the AAA Sustainable Quality? Program.

The amount of coffee we source sustainably is growing every year, and we’ve just started to report on the benefits of responsible sourcing and of the field work with coffee farmers, to farm economics and labor conditions.

Our coffee is sourced both through trade channels and through our Farmer Connect program, which buys directly from farmers or via short and efficient value chains, within our Nescafé Plan and the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality? Program. We source from coffee-growing regions across Latin America, Africa and Asia/Oceania.

Supply chain challenges and solutions

Productivity, supply and demand

Global demand for coffee is increasing, especially at the premium end of the market, by 1%–3% annually. There is also rising demand for food, restricting the land available for coffee, so improving farmers’ productivity is critical not only for their success but also to ensure long-term supplies. We also need to assist the improvement of farm economics, enhancing the resilience and prosperity of present growers and attracting the next generation of coffee farmers, particularly during the present period of low coffee prices.

In 2018, coffee farmers experienced a difficult year, with low prices affecting incomes and discouraging them from engaging in sustainability. However, through the Nescafé Plan and Nespresso AAA programs, representing an investment of around CHF 68.12 million per year, we continuously work with thousands of coffee farmers to help them enhance their efficiency. Our efforts helped farmers in various producing countries to significantly increase their productivity and optimize production costs, thereby improving coffee economics and their quality of life.

At Nescafé, we are following up the progress through a monitoring and evaluation partnership with the Rainforest Alliance. We have established baselines in 10 coffee origins within our Farmer Connect program and will systematically measure progress over the coming years. Through this process, we already have farmers from Mexico and C?te d’Ivoire showing improved farm economics and productivity. We will continue to monitor these trends, in addition to assessing production costs and other elements related to farm economics. We are confident that productivity increases coupled with improved production costs make farmers more efficient and capable of achieving better incomes and livelihoods.

We maintained the pace of our coffee plantlets distribution program, providing 21.9 million plants to 19 096 farmers during the year, keeping us on track to achieve our objectives.

At Nespresso, we completed an independent and holistic Monitoring and Evaluation by Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) members in most AAA countries. This helped us identify the drivers for further improvement. In terms of productivity, in Colombia, where we have a large proportion of AAA smallholders, we observed average Arabica productivity of more than 1 200 kgs per hectare, which is above national average. The reasons for this are the increasing density of coffee trees and the continuous renovation of AAA farms with more productive varieties. In addition, we also identified potential for improvements that will feed our high-quality demand for the future.

Overall, we also reached 55% of total Nescafé coffee that is responsibly sourced, and 93.9% for Nespresso.

In order to hold our suppliers and ourselves accountable as well as drive industry-wide transparency, we are making available the list of our Coffee Tier 1 suppliers (pdf, 125Kb) and the list of the Exporter Warehouses (pdf, 250Kb), along with the country of origin.

Climate change impacts

Coffee-growing regions are in parts of the world most severely affected by climate change, with droughts, excessive rainfall and temperature changes posing a real threat to coffee production. To address these challenges and improve the livelihoods of farmers and their communities, we help farmers to sustainably manage coffee landscapes and be compliant with our Responsible Sourcing Standard (pdf, 2Mb). This includes planting shade-providing trees to help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change.

The Nescafé Plan works closely with partners such as the Rainforest Alliance to assess and measure the impact of our actions. We also have agronomists and other support staff to assist farmers on the ground.

Assessing suppliers

The Nescafé Plan

Through the Nescafé Plan, we’ve made a commitment to help secure the future of coffee. The world’s most widespread coffee sustainability program, the Nescafé Plan assists farmers to be more productive and resilient, explores cutting-edge plant science and provides a rigorous framework for responsible sourcing. Since the Plan was launched in 2010, we have strengthened our impact assessment criteria by focusing on measuring positive changes with particular focus on farm economics and labor rights.

In Mexico, we have started a collaboration with NGOs Verité and PPS to enable more targetted activities – including remediation action – to improve labor conditions within our value chain.

By building sustainability into the coffee supply chain and helping farmers be more resilient and successful while facing the typical price cycles, the Nescafé Plan helps to ensure that the day never comes when coffee lovers have to wake up without their favorite drink.

Grown Respectfully launched to communicate real-life stories

Launched in 2018, Grown Respectfully is our program to communicate to consumers the work of our Nescafé Plan by conveying real, inspiring farmer experiences. Through various channels, Grown Respectfully will help communicate the full breadth and depth of the Nescafé Plan’s sustainability program and its impact on people and the planet.



The Nespresso AAA Program

The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality? Program (pdf, 8Mb) offers a global framework for Nespresso coffee sourcing adapted to local challenges. A collaboration with NGO Rainforest Alliance, it is first and foremost a farmer relationship program, acting at farm level on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. In 15 years, the program has grown from around 300 farmers adopting the Nespresso AAA Sustainability Quality? Program practices to more than 100?000 across 13 countries. Today, more than 93% of Nespresso coffee is sourced from farmers engaged with AAA program, and more than 56% is from farms that are Rainforest Alliance certified?, Fairtrade-certified or Fairtrade Certified?.

Planting trees to increase resilience

Since 2014, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality? Program has implemented agroforestry and reforestation practices as nature-based solutions for adaptation to climate change. This consists of planting native shade-providing trees within and around coffee farms to protect soil against erosion and improve soil fertility and water retention. It also offers coffee farmers opportunities for income diversification, through the sale of timber and/or fruit. So far, Nespresso has planted more than 3.5 million trees in countries including Guatamala, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Indonesia, with the objective of reaching between four and five million by 2020.

Our performance against our KPIs
Volume of responsibly sourced coffee in Nescafé supply 417?000 metric tonnes
Percentage of responsibly sourced coffee in Nescafé supply 55%
Coffee plantlets distributed in 2018 21.9 million
Cumulative total of coffee plants distributed since 2010 181.8 million
Number of coffee-sourcing locations with improvements in farm economics* 2
Number of coffee-sourcing locations with monitored and improved labor rights* 1
Percentage of the coffee for Nespresso’s permanent range sourced through its AAA Sustainable Quality? Program 93.9%
Number of trees planted within AAA landscapes as part of Nespresso’s agroforestry program 3.5 million

* These KPIs do not cover Nespresso.

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Download our Creating Shared Value report