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> Competitive advantage: Nestlé’s Nespresso Sustainable quality programme for coffee
Competitive advantage: Nestlé’s Nespresso Sustainable quality programme for coffee
The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program aims to stabilise the supply chain and safeguard the long-term supply of the highest quality coffee. It promotes environmental sustainability and social responsibility on the farms that produce coffee for Nespresso's gourmet espresso capsules. The programme discourages the unnecessary use of fertilisers, encourages integrated pest management strategies and promotes use of shade coffee to better protect the crops from erosion, and diversify the plantation area. Trees used for shade such as banana, citrus, avocado, both provide nutrients to the soil and offer additional sources of income for farmers. The programme protects ecosystems by incorporating planning and management of protected natural areas. It prohibits hunting and captivity of wild animals and illegal logging. The programme includes ecosystem restoration, e.g. planting trees near water sources. The Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) verifies that the farms in the AAA programme are implementing better methods and are decreasing their impact on the natural world.
A Tool for the Assessment of Sustainable Quality (TASQ™) is used to help implement the AAA programme. It includes quality, environmental, social and economic indicators. Farmers and growers are provided with a self-assessment guidebook and are trained to use it. A team of agronomists later assesses these farms and the resulting data from the TASQ™ is analysed. Farms found to be falling short on certain critical practices such as deforestation or the misuse of dangerous agrochemicals must correct these problems before they can qualify for the programme.
Currently 50% of Nespresso coffee is sourced through this program (25,000 farmers in five countries). Nespresso has recently committed to source 80% (80,000 farms, nine countries) of its coffee from the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Coffee Program including Rainforest Alliance Certification™ by 2013.
Source: http://www.ecolaboration.com/#/aaa/en/coffee/aaa (July 2009)