The spread of COVID-19 has impacted us all. Individually, through our families and within our communities. Coffee farming communities are also particularly at risk and impacted. This is why Nespresso has put in place an emergency contingency fund and specific actions in the field to support them.
Nespresso’s priority is to take care of its employees, customers and consumers, but also its broader partners in the coffee supply chain, in particular the coffee farming communities.
While many countries in Europe are slowly coming out from lockdown, the situation is very different in the countries of origin where Nespresso sources its coffees. Five of these countries are in or close to the coffee harvest period, which will be a critical time for producers to secure this year’s crop while managing the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, Nespresso works with more than 110,000 farmers in coffee producing regions worldwide, building direct and long-term relationships with them through a network of 400 dedicated agronomists. As such, it is uniquely placed to support coffee farming communities. While field visits and on-the ground technical assistance had to stop for safety reasons, the team of 400 agronomists remain in touch with the farmers over the phone to provide advice and support on minimising the risks of the spread of the virus. Dedicated manuals and specific instructions on how to avoid contamination through hygiene measures, avoiding gatherings of people and respecting social distancing were developed to help farmers, especially during harvest period. In Brazil for example, these manuals were turned into dedicated radio spots, broadcast on the most important radios in the coffee regions to ensure the message reaches all rural areas in these critical times. “We want to bring this information to as many people as possible in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our priority is to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the coffee chain. Therefore, we are investing in various types of communication.” says Guilherme Amado, Nespresso Green Coffee Manager in Brazil.
Given the variety of situation and therefore needs in these regions, Nespresso has put in place an emergency contingency fund to enable specific interventions such as tests, hygiene kits and food provisions. Nespresso teams have also developed a simple and comprehensive reporting system to follow the evolution of the pandemic in AAA areas, respecting government guidance and farmer privacy. This will help monitor the situation and ensure key actions are focused where they are the most needed.
As part of its AAA Program, the company will continue to work hand-in-hand with coffee farmers, and local partners, suppliers and NGOs to define how to best support the farming communities in the coming weeks and months. Collaboration is key to drive positive impact and to continue to care for coffee growing regions.