Growing consumer demand for top quality coffee in Colombia will continue to fuel market for sustainable quality coffee, say Nestle, nation's industry officials

Bogotá, Colombia , December 5, 2011 (press release) – Growing consumer demand for top quality coffee will continue to fuel the market for sustainable quality coffee, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and Nestlé Nespresso SA today told delegates at the FNC’s annual Coffee Growers Congress. At the congress, the FNC and Nespresso renewed their commitment to work with coffee growers in improving quality, sustainability and productivity of coffee on their farms.

“With rising consumer demand for top-quality coffee and growing public interest in sustainability, we believe Colombian coffee growers are on the right track with their focus on quality and sustainability,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, Director of International Marketing and Strategy at Nestlé Nespresso SA, in a speech to coffee growers from all over Colombia attending the Congress. “We share this vision and are proud to be working with the FNC and coffee growers in Colombia on building a better future together.”

Sustainability that matters

“Sustainable growth has to start with a commercially viable product. That requires top quality coffee and a long-term commitment from producers and buyers. One of the most significant projects in Colombia today is the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program,” said Luis G. Muñoz, CEO of the FNC. “The more than 36 000 coffee growers in the AAA Programs here in Colombia receive higher prices for their efforts and their product. More importantly, they and their community of some 130 000 people have improved their quality of life.”

In Colombia, more than 296 000 hectares (or over 730 000 acres) were cultivated according to sustainability guidelines in 2010, a 20-fold increase from 2005, when 15 000 hectares (or 37 000 acres) were part of such a programme.[1]In 2010, Nespresso sourced about 25% of its total green coffee from Colombia.

“Colombia produces some of the highest quality coffees in the world. That’s exactly what Nespresso consumers demand,” Mr Le Cunff told Colombia’s coffee growers, many of whom were also able to follow his speech in FNC offices around the country.

“By working with the FNC and other partners, we created Rosabaya de Colombia, made exclusively of Colombian coffee. It’s a Grand Cru coffee that brings to life what we are doing here in Colombia,” Mr Le Cunff said. Rosabaya is currently sourced from two AAA clusters in the Cauca and Nauriño regions, encompassing over 27 000 Colombian coffee growers.

Putting coffee growers first

As part of their long-term commitment to Colombia’s Cauca and Nariño regions, Nespresso and the FNC have been working with coffee growers to strengthen the sustainable production of AAA coffee. Investment in production techniques and infrastructure have also led to environmental improvements. “We have been doing a lot of work on the ground. Together, we have been able to leverage each other’s resources, get additional partners and make a difference for our coffee growers by enabling them to improve their quality of life,” said Mr Muñoz.

Nespressolaunched its AAA Program with the Rainforest Alliance in 2003 to protect the future of the highest quality coffee for consumers and secure the livelihoods of the coffee growers. In 2010 Nespresso sourced 60% of its coffee from its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. Nespresso has publicly committed to sourcing 80% of its coffee through this programme by 2013. Since 2003, the Nespresso AAA Program has been operating in five main regional districts: Cauca, Nariño, Caldas, Antioquia and Huila.

In 2010 and 2011, more than 100 dedicated Nespresso and FNC agronomists financed by Nespresso, have been working directly with coffee growers to improve quality and yield, while reducing environmental impact and waste. “By working together, we’ve joined forces and tapped into our respective strengths. Together, we’ll continue to build on our efforts and experience,” said Mr Le Cunff.

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