Nestlé pledges one billion Swiss francs for the sustainability of the coffee supply chain

Image: Nescafe

Called the Nescafé Plan 2030, the strategy was created in recognition of the systemic socio-economic challenges faced by coffee-growing communities and the exposure of the coffee supply chain to climate risks. The Inter-American Development Bank predicts that by 2050 there will be up to 50% less land suitable for growing coffee than there is today, due to climate change.

The plan sets the ambition that one-fifth of coffee purchased by Nescafé will come from farms implementing regenerative practices by 2025, rising to 50% by 2030. Farmers in seven key regions, which collectively account for 90% of the company’s coffee supply, will be supported to implement the changes: Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Honduras.

Regenerative agriculture is an approach that aims to improve the natural environment on and around farms, providing benefits in terms of soil health, water resources, biodiversity and long-term climate resilience. Coffee growers can reap these benefits by planting cover crops, switching from chemical to organic fertilizers, planting climate-resistant varieties of coffee trees and improving pruning practices.

In particular, Nestlé has already started implementing regeneration processes on several of its UK-based wheat farms.

The benefits of carbon absorption from regenerative agriculture will be used in Nestlé’s carbon accounting. The company has set a net zero goal for 2050 backed by a commitment to halve absolute emissions by 2030.

Financial aid

In Mexico, Ivory Coast and Indonesia, as a first step, Nescafé will pilot a new financial support program that will pay more to farmers who adopt regenerative practices. Through the program, which will be supported by the Rainforest Alliance, farmers will also give farmers better access to lines of credit.

Additionally, Nescafé will explore ways to better insure coffee farms to protect them from extreme weather.

Enveritas estimates that, worldwide, at least 5.5 million coffee-growing families live below the international poverty line.

The Nescafé news comes shortly after International Coffee Day, which fell on Saturday (October 1). The day is celebrated with the aim of raising awareness of the issues facing coffee farmers and recognizing those who work throughout the coffee value chain.

Earlier this year, Nestlé joined a partnership enabling large companies to help suppliers measure and reduce emissions. Led by Mars, PepsiCo and McCormick & Company, Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition also includes General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper, Mondelez International, Atlantic Packaging, The Estee Lauder Companies, Restaurant Brands International and Yum! Trademarks.

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