Partnership for Quality with Nespresso and IFC, Central America
An ambitious partnership helps farmers meet the demanding cup quality and environmental quality requirements of Nespresso.
As one of the most discerning roaster clients at the top end of the coffee market, The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program has established a demanding sustainability verification program built on the Rainforest Alliance Certified standard. To provide Nespresso with a growing supply of high quality Arabica coffee from Central America and Mexico, ECOM formed a partnership with Nespresso, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Rainforest Alliance Certified. Since 2006, this initiative has provided training to improve coffee quality and farm income to over 13,000 farmers. To date, hundreds of workshops have been held and several thousand technical farm visits have been conducted, ensuring personalized agronomy advice to farmers and enabling better than usual data collection. Farmers benefit by improving pre- and post-harvest practices that lead to better quality, and in turn the ability to sell into a higher value market. Their environment also benefits from farming that co-exists compatibly with valued watersheds and forests.
An exciting element of this partnership is the extensive monitoring and evaluation that has helped to focus efforts and confirm the value of training and certification efforts. Since its 2006 inception, the number of farmers meeting the basic level of Nespresso’s requirements has increased from close to zero to more than 50%. Importantly, in 2011 more than 20% of farmers had reached an advanced level. Initial results from monitoring and evaluation studies show that farmers who work to a high standard reap the most value from improvements and are more able to adopt innovative technologies than farmers who aspire to lower standards.