TechnoServe and Nespresso Partner to Build a More Sustainable Coffee Industry in East Africa

Program will provide training and support to farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan

Washington, DC, July 16, 2013 — TechnoServe and Nespresso are launching a partnership in East Africa to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers while creating a more sustainable source of supply for Nespresso.

The new initiative will focus on three countries: Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. In Ethiopia and Kenya, the partnership will provide farming and business support to smallholder farmers and help build stronger supply chain linkages. In South Sudan, the effort will focus on helping farmers to rebuild the coffee industry after decades of conflict.

East Africa is the birthplace of coffee and holds the potential to produce some of the best coffee in the world. But farmers are often held back by a combination of low productivity, limited processing capabilities and poor market access. More than half of Africa’s 5 million smallholder coffee farmers live on less than $1 a day.

TechnoServe’s experience has shown that with proper farming, processing and business practices, coffee producers in Africa can dramatically increase their yields, improve the quality of their coffee and raise their incomes while protecting the environment for future generations.

“For many farmers in Africa, coffee represents food, clean water, medicine or the opportunity to send their children to school,” said TechnoServe President and CEO Bruce McNamer. “This partnership will help make coffee a more sustainable economic opportunity for farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. Nespresso is demonstrating its commitment to creating shared value in coffee-farming communities, and we are proud to be part of the effort.”

In Ethiopia and Kenya, Nespresso intends to expand its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, a unique approach that combines a focus on quality and sustainability to produce benefits for farmers and their communities. TechnoServe will provide training to smallholder farmers to help improve their productivity and the quality of their coffee. TechnoServe and Nespresso will collaborate with local governments and other stakeholders to enhance coffee-processing capabilities, improve socioeconomic conditions in farming communities and create solutions to challenges in the coffee supply chain. Through these and other improvements, the partners expect to double the amount of coffee Nespresso sources from the region to 10,000 tons by 2020.

The South Sudan project aims to revive the production of coffee in the country, with thousands of smallholder farmers expected to benefit from the initiative. TechnoServe and Nespresso will support local producers to reestablish coffee farms and processing capability. The partners will also aim to identify local entrepreneurs who can build competitive businesses across the coffee supply chain.

The partnership with TechnoServe was among several new initiatives in the areas of farmer welfare and environmental stewardship that Nespresso announced on Monday. The company convened its first Sustainability Advisory Board, which will provide insight and recommendations to enhance Nespresso’s long-term sustainability strategy. The board is comprised of experts and thought leaders in the area of sustainability, including TechnoServe President and CEO Bruce McNamer.

The formation of the board coincides with the 10th anniversary of the AAA Program. Currently, over 56,000 farmers are part of the AAA Program and the company is sourcing approximately 80 percent of its coffee from AAA farms.

“As we mark ten years of the AAA Program, I am proud to have the opportunity to work with these renowned leaders in environmental and social sustainability in order to strengthen our programs and develop new and impactful initiatives to create shared value for coffee farmers,” said Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso. “Our partnership with TechnoServe represents a major opportunity to improve the livelihoods of thousands of farmers while helping to build an important source of supply for Nespresso.”

For TechnoServe, this initiative is part of a broader effort to build a sustainable global coffee industry that can lift millions of farming families out of poverty. We have developed and refined on-the-ground, market-based solutions to meet this challenge in communities across Africa and Latin America. Core components of this approach include:

  • Establishing and supporting competitive, farmer-owned coffee-processing businesses
  • Facilitating access for smallholders to intensive, field-based agronomy and business training
  • Designing and implementing practical solutions to sustainability issues in the coffee supply chain, including social responsibility, environmental stewardship and economic transparency

About TechnoServe

TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. Our work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Eder, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, TechnoServe
Tel: +1 202 719 1327; Email: 
media@technoserve.org