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1 September 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Coffee brand Nespresso has invested CHF500 million (£328 million) in improving farmer welfare and drive environmental sustainability in coffee sourcing and consumption by 2020.
As part of the new initiative 'The Positive Cup', the company will source 100 per cent of its permanent range of Nespresso Grand Cru coffees sustainably, through its Nespresso AAA Program. This will see it investing over CHF15 million (£9.8 million) in three African coffee-producing countries – Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan.
The AAA Program, launched in collaboration with The Rainforest Alliance in 2003, “aims to protect the future of the highest quality coffees and secure the livelihoods of the farmers that grow them”.
Nespresso, which is owned by Nestlé, plans to expand its capacity to collect used aluminium capsules which are used in the machines to 100 per cent, “wherever the company does business and increase recycling rates”. It will also become “100 per cent carbon neutral”, by planting trees to compensate for its carbon footprint.
The new strategy has received backing from the company’s sustainability board, including non-government organisations the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature; and Nespresso brand ambassador George Clooney.
Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance, said Nespresso’s commitment to increase the amount of Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee it buys to 50 per cent from the 30 per cent it currently uses, “is an important step”.