Nestlé pledges one billion Swiss francs for coffee supply chain sustainability
Nestlé, through its largest coffee brand Nescafe, has outlined new plans to improve coffee farmers’ livelihoods and support them to adopt regenerative agriculture, backed with a commitment of CHF1bn.
Called Nescafe Plan 2030, the strategy has been created in recognition of the systemic socioeconomic challenges facing coffee-growing communities and the coffee supply chain’s exposure to climate risks. The Inter-American Development bank is forecasting 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 an ambition for one-fifth of the coffee sourced by Nescafe to 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 business’s coffee sourcing, will be supported to implement changes: Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia and Honduras.
Regenerative farming is an approach which 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 farmers may reap these benefits by planting cover crops, switching from chemical to organic fertilisers, planting climate-resistant varieties of coffee trees and improving pruning practices.
Nestle has notably already begun implementing regenerative processes at several of its UK-based wheat farms.
Carbon absorption benefits from regenerative agriculture will be used in Nestle’s carbon accounting. The firm has set out a 2050 net-zero target supported by a commitment to halve absolute emissions by 2030.
In Mexico, Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia in the first instance, Nescafe will pilot a new financial support scheme that will pay farmers more for adopting renegerative practices. Through the scheme, which will be supported by the Rainforest Alliance, farmers will also give farmers greater access to lines of credit.
Additionally, Nescafe will explore ways of better insuring coffee farms to give them protection from severe and extreme weather.
Enveritas estimates that, globally, at least 5.5 million coffee farming families are living below the international poverty line.
The news from Nescafe comes shortly after International Coffee Day, which fell on Saturday (1 October). The day is celebrated with the aim of raising awareness of the issues facing coffee growers and recognising those working throughout the coffee value chain.
Earlier this year, Nestle joined a partnership enabling large businesses to support suppliers to measure and reduce emissions. Spearheaded by Mars, PepsiCo and McCormick & Company, the 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! Brands.
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