Nespresso and Fairtrade International Join Forces to Support Colombian Cooperatives

by laura everage on July 18, 2013 · 0 comments

 

16 July, Paris, France – Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fairtrade International, and Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso, today announce a new, long-reaching partnership to benefit thousands of small-scale coffee farmers. The announcement comes as Nespresso celebrates ten years of their Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, focused on improving quality and sustainability for farmers and their communities.

Nespresso has committed to source a growing proportion of its coffee from Fairtrade certified cooperatives, a partnership that will provide thousands of smallholder coffee farmers with even greater income security, as well as better supporting the development of strong, representative farmer organizations. These organizations are an essential building block of economic, social and environmental development. As part of the initiative, Nespresso will market coffee from the AAA farmer cooperatives in the region of Caldas, Colombia, and certified Fairtrade.

The partnership unites Fairtrade’s deep experience in building strong, democratic farmers’ organizations with Nespresso’s AAA Programme, which has proven impact in helping farmers improve quality, sustainability and productivity, as well as contributing wider social and economic benefits. As part of the programme, Nespresso and Fairtrade will look to introduce social welfare provisions to benefit farmers and their families, including health and accident coverage and retirement planning.

“Nespresso’s partnership with Fairtrade is great news for coffee farmers. This encourages the kind of development that not only helps whole communities; it further emphasises the fundamental necessity of ensuring that quality of life of farmers is on a par with the quality of coffee they’re producing,” says Lamb.

Nespresso will begin by purchasing Fairtrade coffee from farmers in Caldas, Colombia. Nespresso already sources from five Fairtrade certified cooperatives in the region under the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. These cooperatives, comprising 7,000 small-scale farmers, were the first to join the Nespresso AAA Program in 2004.

“By 2020 we aim to make a further contribution to smallholder farmer welfare through our Nespresso AAA Program by working with Fairtrade and our other partners. Our Nespresso AAA Farmer Future Program is an important piece in our larger goal of improving livelihoods for all coffee farmers in our supply chain,” Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso.

As the AAA Farmer Future Program develops and impact becomes apparent, Nespresso and Fairtrade will look to extend the partnership to other regions. The overall AAA Program comprises over 56,000 smallholder farmers representing 80 percent of Nespresso’s total coffee volume.

Marike de Peña, the President of CLAC[1], Fairtrade International Vice Chair, and director of Banelino, a Fairtrade smallscale producer organization, welcomes the announcement on behalf of their members. “The CLAC recognises the importance of Nespresso AAA for the Colombian small farmers coffee cooperatives and hopefully for other cooperatives in the near future. Investments in productivity, quality and best practices are crucial for farmers, not just to guarantee economic, social and environmental sustainability, but also to make sure that the next generation will be able to consider coffee farming an attractive and viable livelihood. The CLAC is happy to work on the ground with Nespresso to achieve these common goals and look forward to building on this first step in Colombia to ultimately extend the benefits of the Farmer Future Programme to many more farmers.“

 

“A key to Fairtrade’s success is its strength in supporting farmers to build strong organizations and implement development projects for their communities on their own terms according to their priorities,” adds Merling Preza, President of the CLAC’s Coffee Network and Manager of PRODECOOP, one of the largest Fairtrade coffee co-ops in Nicaragua. “This involvement creates a sense of ownership among cooperative members which is vital to success. We also welcome the fact that Nespresso has already led the way in paying farmers a fair price. This commitment, now further bolstered through the safety net provided by the Fairtrade Minimum Price and through the Fairtrade Premium, is insulation so urgently needed to protect farmers from the volatility of the coffee market.”

Nespresso and Fairtrade International and its members will work together along with local expert partners to develop solutions to the short-term and long-term challenges coffee farmers face, and help improve the livelihoods of small farmers, their families and communities.

 

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