AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program delivers tangible benefits


An independent study of sustainability on Colombian coffee farms has demonstrated sharply improved performance across those farms which are part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program.

Nespresso CEO Jean-Marc Duvoisin and Rainforest Alliance President Tensie Whelan were present to see the results of the report released at a Rainforest Alliance Sustainability and Certification Innovation Workshop in New York.

Of the AAA farms surveyed, including those that have obtained Rainforest Alliance certification, 22.6% had better social conditions, 52% better environmental conditions and 41% better economic conditions than non-AAA farms.

“Sustainability is a business imperative for a company like Nespresso that depends on a natural resource to deliver quality and consistency to our consumers every day,” said Jean-Marc Duvoisin. “For us, quality and sustainability are intricately linked. More sustainable farming increases the ability to produce consistent quality far into the future. This is something that benefits farmers, consumers and our business."


Gap Widens

The AAA Program pays price premiums for highest
quality sustainable coffee.

Interestingly, the gap between non-AAA farms and AAA farms is widening in terms of sustainability outcomes. Between 2009 and 2011 index levels for non-AAA farms were generally flat or declining, while those for AAA farms increased.

The study also highlighted the higher prices paid to AAA farmers for their green coffee in the form of premiums and the effect this had on coffee farmers. Net farmer income, economic stability and social conditions all improved for AAA farmers. On top of that, AAA farmers progressively increased the amount of green coffee they sold to Nespresso.

The report was produced by the independent consulting and research firm, CRECE. It arrived at its findings after surveying more than 1,000 Colombian coffee farmers from both AAA and non-AAA farms on their social, environmental and economic conditions.


CRECE and 10 years of AAA

The release of the CRECE findings coincides with ten years of collaboration between Nespresso and the Rainforest Alliance on the AAA Program.

“The concrete data coming from the field shows the significant impact that the collaboration between the Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso is having on the ground in coffee growing communities,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “Over the ten years that we have worked with Nespresso on the AAA Program, we have observed significant progress in terms of economic, social and environmental conditions.”


The AAA Program

The Nespresso AAA Program, forged in alliance with the Rainforest Alliance, has at its heart the desire to secure the supply of the highest quality green coffee, while protecting the livelihoods of the farmers who produce it. As the program celebrates its 10th anniversary, it is today providing support, training, financing and technical assistance to over 52,000 farmers in eight countries to improve sustainability and productivity while maintaining quality.