Nescafé to step up sustainability: 100% responsibly sourced coffee by 2025

02 February 2021


Nescafé has pledged to increase its sustainability efforts, building on the significant progress over the past decade. Improving efficiency and agricultural practices on farms and enabling farmers to be paid a premium price for sustainable coffee is at the heart of the renewed plan. One of Nescafé’s plan’s key cornerstones is to have 100 percent responsibly-sourced coffee, tracing it back to an identified farmer group. The coffee is verified or certified by independent organizations. Currently, 75 percent of coffee for Nescafé products is responsibly sourced.

Nescafé is one of the world’s most popular coffee brands. However, many coffee farmers live in uncertainty. The health of their crops and their incomes are under permanent threat.  A decade ago, Nestlé, therefore, launched the Nescafé Plan to improve farmer’s lives, investing CHF 350 million (US$394 million) in the plan since its inception.

It has helped improve farmers’ incomes, reduce the environmental impact of coffee farms and factories and increase rural communities’ well-being in many countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  Building on the significant progress over the past decade (pdf, 4 Mb), Nestlé today pledged to increase its sustainability efforts.

Protecting workers, women, and children

“Together with our partners and 230 Nescafé agronomists, we improved efficiency and agricultural practices on farms, enabling farmers to command a premium price for coffee grown sustainably. We diversified sources of farmer income to reduce their dependence on monocultures and to make them more resilient. We will not stop here,” says Philipp Navratil, Senior Vice President, Head of Beverages Strategic Business Unit.

“Our programs will evolve toward better social conditions in and around coffee farms. We will double down our efforts on labor rights, child protection, youth and women empowerment.”

Cutting carbon emissions

Nescafé will reduce and remove carbon emissions where it sources coffee and throughout its operations. Nescafé will also use environmentally friendly packaging. These are concrete steps that – among many others help Nestlé reach its 2025 packaging commitment and its 2050 net-zero ambition.

Nescafé’s partner, Rainforest Alliance, evaluates activities in global coffee-sourcing regions to ensure they positively impact farmers’ lives.  Rainforest Alliance regularly monitors farmers’ adoption of good practices and the evolution of related indicators like productivity.

“Our partnership with Nestlé on the Nescafé Plan is about improving and optimizing coffee farming. Working together with the Rainforest Alliance on training, monitoring and evaluation, Nescafé used data and evidence to adapt its activities with the coffee farmers,” adds Alex Morgan, chief markets officer, Rainforest Alliance.

What has been achieved so far?

In 2020, Nescafé purchased more than 649,000 metric tons of responsibly-sourced coffee, the largest volume from a single coffee buyer. It has distributed 235 million high-yielding and disease-resistant coffee plantlets, exceeding the initial objective of 220 million. This contributed to the renovation of nearly 120,000 hectares of coffee farms worldwide. The project has also developed and released 15 new Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties in five countries – Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Philippines and Thailand – and these plant materials have higher productivity, resiliency and superior quality. More than 900,000 farmer training sessions on good agricultural practices have also been carried out. The objectives were to optimize productivity and costs, improve quality and reduce the environmental footprint through efficient irrigation methods or pruning techniques.

More than 10,000 women and young farmers have gone through leadership programs and training on household economic planning, while the program has reinforced the business skills of more than 10,000 farmers, focusing on financial literacy, record keeping, and entrepreneurship.

Nestlé will publish a new and expanded Nescafé sustainability roadmap before the end of the year. The company will also continue to foster a more robust and sustainable coffee sector.

Published by on January 21, 2021


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