- Nestlé set a goal to responsibly source 100% of its coffee by 2025 and accurately trace coffee back to specific farmer groups through its Nescafé Plan, according to a press release.
- Nestlé has responsibly sourced 75% of its coffee and distributed 235 million coffee plants under the Nescafé Plan, exceeding its goal of achieving 70% responsibly sourced coffee by the end of 2020. It also met its goals of reducing direct water withdrawal by decreasing water use in factories and irrigation for coffee farming.
- Through its Nescafé Plan, the company will also look to reduce and remove carbon emissions from coffee sourcing and throughout its operations. Nestlé will use environmentally friendly packaging to reach its 2025 packaging commitment and plans of being net-zero by 2050.
Ten years ago, Nestlé started its plan to help improve farmers’ lives and become more sustainable in the process, and now it is looking to build on those steps to be even more sustainable in the future.
Every year, Nescafé buys more than 800,000 metric tons of green coffee from 20 countries. Since 2010, Nestlé has held over 900,000 technical assistance and coaching trainings for farmers to improve coffee yields by addressing productivity challenges like soil fertility, plant disease and diversification. The company has also set up a business school for farmers that targets dedicated farmers and youth with entrepreneurial potential looking to increase economic opportunities in their communities.
Nestlé has invested $394 million in its Nescafé Plan to date, vowing to increase income, assist rural communities, and reduce the environmental impact of coffee farms and factories in countries including Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Vietnam and others.
The company is relying on greater transparency and traceability with farmer groups it sources from by having the groups adopt sustainability standards aligned with Nestlé’s Responsible Sourcing Standards to achieve its coffee sourcing goals.
Producers are encouraged to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment that is grounded in respect for their workers. To ensure this, Nestlé works with producers to build socially responsible and compliant operations by performing assessments and providing technical assistance strategies. The company acknowledges, going forward, it has to improve relaying reliable information to farmers on implementing potentially cost-saving practices to address soil health and conservation.
Nestlé's partnership with the Rainforest Alliance enables the evaluation of how Nestlé's coffee sourcing impacts farmers worldwide, and it aims to uphold its promise to improve the lives of farmers.
"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," said Alex Morgan, chief markets officer at Rainforest Alliance.
To reach its net-zero goal, Nestlé is prioritizing planting 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years to absorb carbon. It will also work with farmers to shift growing strategies to be more environmentally friendly.
Marcelo Burity, head of Green Coffee Development at Nestlé, has led the Nescafé Plan for five years. Before that, he worked on Nestlé’s green coffee procurement team. To achieve the goals that Nestle has set cross-divisional operations are key, he said.
"The closer the business functions work together, the stronger the program becomes and the more value it creates," Burity said in a company document chronicling its Nescafé Plan. He also listed important steps that companies have to take to achieve sustainability goals, including embracing a long-term strategy and making sustainability a competitive advantage.
Last year, Nestlé admitted that it missed its goal to rid its palm oil supply chain of deforestation by 2020. The company had pledged to rid deforestation from its primary supply chains, transitioning to 100% renewable electricity in 187 countries and increasing the availability of carbon-neutral brands.