Mutual trust and commitment for a unique coffee taste
The latest Nespresso Limited Edition Grand Cru, Naora, was made possible thanks to a two-year-long collaboration between Nespresso agronomists and experts, the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation (FNC) and some 1,500 farmers of Santander and Tolima regions who produced the coffee. Not without its challenges, the project required mutual trust and a considerable commitment from everyone involved.
Working with coffee farmers to create a first in the coffee industry
Naora symbolises the Nespresso commitment to continuous innovation to delight consumers with new and rare sensorial experiences. Naora takes its inspiration from “late harvest” wines, made from grapes picked late in the season so that specific flavours can mature. Using the Castillo coffee variety, the Naora project involved some 1,500 Colombian coffee growers picking the coffee cherries at peak ripeness. Harvesting the crop a few weeks later than usual at a specific point in time, allowed specific aromas to develop, creating a unique coffee taste. This exceptional project is the first of its kind in the coffee industry.
Such a considerable change in coffee harvesting practices presented a gamble for the coffee growers invited to join the project, as well as for Nespresso. “The main risk we faced was that coffee growers wouldn’t agree to the process, because they didn’t feel comfortable changing what’s been done for the last 80 years,” explains Nespresso Coffee Expert Alexis Rodriguez.
Cristian Ardila, one of the coffee growers involved in the project, agrees, “Doing things differently always creates a bit of a stress.” “Above all, it was a challenge for the farmers,” adds Edgar Moreno Gonzalez, of the FNC’s Quality Department. “They had to convince their workers not to pick the coffee cherries when they were red, which is typical, but to wait until full ripeness, when the cherries were purple.”
“At the start, I didn’t think it would be possible,” says Santiago Salazar, another farmer who produced the Naora coffee. But as news of the project’s success began to spread, there was a domino-like effect among coffee farmers. They began to believe that not only was a late harvest possible, it was actually easy.
Building trust and Creating Shared Value through long-term relationships
“The chain of trust between the different people involved was amazing,” comments Alexis Rodriguez. “The trust started between Nespresso and the FNC, but reached all the way down the chain, to coffee cooperatives, coffee growers and the pickers who work on the farms.”
Naora is a living illustration of the Nespresso approach of building strong and long-term relationships with farming communities to create shared value for all, in line with the Nestlé Creating Shared Value approach.
“The launch of this innovative Limited Edition from Colombia is a recognition of the capabilities of both our organisations to create value and to involve local communities in these processes," says Luis Genaro Munoz Ortega, the CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation, stressing the close working relationship with Nespresso.