Entering the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program
Duberney Arias, Nespresso AAA farmer in Colombia
Duberney Arias Agudelo’s Corea farm is nestled along the slopes of the Andes in Caldas, one of the three departments in the famous Colombian coffee belt, which produces some of the finest coffee in the world.
When Duberney heard about the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program from his local coffee cooperative in Pacora in the Colombian Department of Caldas, his interest was immediately awakened. His family had acquired the 15-hectare farm at the end of the 1990s, and Duberney was in charge of the farm’s day-to-day management and upkeep.
“It was quite simple: we were interested in it and Nespresso came to visit us and we started to work with the AAA Program right away,” said Duberney.
A new approach to coffee production
Through the Nespresso AAA Program we have changed our mentality: now we know that you have to look after yourself and the people who work on the farm.
“The first recommendations made by the Nespresso agronomist helped us with the management of our farm. We had been very disorganised. We didn’t keep accounts and rarely planned anything. Now we have a plan for what we will do throughout the entire year, and we are more conscious of the finances: we know how much it costs to produce a load of coffee.”
Duberney also changed how the coffees he cultivates are handled. “Before, after harvesting the coffee, we would leave it in the washers for 3 to 4 days. Now we wash it every day. And then the coffee must be dried immediately. It is much more efficient to do it like this if you want to achieve the best possible quality. We did not pay much attention to this before,” he explained.
“Once we began implementing the changes that the Nespresso agronomist recommended to us, we saw immediate returns on our efforts, in terms of quality as well as income. This is what convinced us to remain in the AAA Program,” he continued.
One of the hardest habits to break, said Duberney, had to do with personal safety. “We didn’t see the need for protection when we were handling pesticides. We also used to let anyone work on the farm during the harvest who asked. But today, we are much more careful about this and we only hire adults. Through the Nespresso AAA Program, we have changed our mentality. Now we know that you have to look after yourself and the people who work on the farm.”
New ties for a stronger future
- Name: Duberney Arias Agudelo
- Age: 38
- Farm: Corea Farm
- Location:Pácora, Caldas, Colombia
- Size of farm: 15 hectares, 9 hectares of coffee
- Joined Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program: 2006
Over the years, the relationship between Duberney and the Nespresso agronomist with whom he works has become a friendship. Although Corea farm has achieved Rainforest Alliance certification, Duberney acknowledges that the work does not end there. “I have an excellent relationship with our agronomist. His role is very important. In managing the farm, there are always things one can overlook or forget. The agronomist will come in and point out where we can do things better. His advice is very useful to us.”
The benefits to be gained from participating in the AAA Program can clearly be felt, says Duberney. “Compared to how we used to be, so much has improved, from the way we manage our farm to how we process our coffee, and the prices we receive for it have really helped us a great deal. Ideally, all of us coffee growers should be participating in the Nespresso AAA Program.”