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Nespresso holds its fourth AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Forum

02 June 2011 – The fourth Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Forum, co-hosted by Nestlé Nespresso SA and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), took place in June 2011 in Colombia. Farmers, NGOs, researchers, agricultural finance specialists and coffee industry representatives gathered to discuss progress on the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ program implementation.


Central mill: a more efficient milling process for the farmers

Nespresso co-funded a new community
coffee processing in Jardin, Colombia

One major project stood out: the central mill built in Jardin, Colombia, a concrete result of discussions initiated during the previous forum in Boston in 2009.

The central mill, co-financed by Nespresso and partners including Expocafé and USAID, opened in 2010. This “beneficio”, as local farmers call it, makes the milling process more efficient for more than 100 coffee growers. They can now take their crops to one location where a dedicated team takes over the time-consuming and resource-intensive process. The central mill team manages the delicate process that turns coffee cherries into coffee beans ready for export.

Concrete results are already seen. Because the mill uses state-of-the-art equipment and processes, the rejection rate of damaged coffee beans has fallen from nearly 50% to less than 3%. The rise in quality has led to a 10% growth in income for the farmers using the central mill. The project also brought extensive environmental benefits, such as better water management. Moreover, the farmers now have more time to focus on their coffee crops and farms, or to be with their families.


Agronomists closely work with coffee farmers to improve quality and yield
Agronomists closely work with farmers
to improve coffee quality and yield

Colombia as a major partner in the AAA Program

The company organised the fourth edition of the forum in Colombia to recognise the country’s importance in the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. Indeed, by the end of 2010, Nespresso was sourcing about 25% of its total volume of green coffee and about 80% of its AAA coffee from Colombia. In 2010 and 2011, more than 100 agronomists financed by Nespresso worked in the country with approximately 36 000 Colombian coffee growers in the Nespresso AAA Program to improve quality and yield, while reducing environmental impact and waste.


Developing meaningful projects to improve quality, sustainability and farmers’ lives

In 2007, Nespresso created the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Forum to engage its key stakeholders in building knowledge and solving challenges in the sustainability of the coffee supply chain.

Since then, every two years, Nespresso has been bringing together experts and partners in its AAA program to review existing collaborations, assess the advancement of projects, and create new collaborations to continually improve the sustainable development work implemented in the coffee-growing countries.

Colombian green coffee tasting during the 4th <em>Nespresso</em> Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Forum
Colombian green coffee tasting during
the fourth Nespresso AAA
Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Forum

The first forum was organized in Switzerland in 2005, with subsequent fora in Costa Rica in 2007 and in Boston in 2009.

As one outcome of previous fora, Nespresso commissioned INCAE , the leading business school in Latin America, to conduct a research on Real Farmer Income™. This study aimed to identify the real drivers of coffee farm profitability. That study identified productivity, or yield, as the key driver of profitability for coffee farmers.

The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was launched in collaboration with the environmental organisation the Rainforest Alliance in 2003. Its benefits include securing exceptional coffees for consumers, but also a better life for the growers, and environmentally friendly agricultural practices.


For more information about the INCAE research on Real Farmer Income™, visit the Ecolaboration™ Research section.

For more information about the central mill, visit the Ecolaboration™ Case studies section.