The partnership was announced on May 28, following a meeting between Colombian President Iván Duque, Howard Buffett; Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nespresso, and the FNC CEO, Roberto Vélez, at Casa de Nariño in Bogotá, Colombia.
“Nariño’s fertile lands were once the undisputed provenance of the highest quality coffee, and they can be again,” said President Duque. “We welcome the strong involvement of the private sector, the strength of this partnership and dedicated program to help restore the area back to a thriving coffee region with the highest levels of coffee production, contributing to a better quality of life for farmers in El Rosario. We hope similar efforts can exist in other regions of Colombia that are in need of change.”
The pilot program aims to demonstrate the power that quality coffee can have on improving the safety, economic stability and well-being of farming communities. El Rosario is a mountainous area with steep inclines and is only accessed by an unpaved road of twists and turns along the edge of the Andes mountain range. FNC and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation are also supporting the development of needed in-home and community improvement projects. Through this program, the municipality will receive a new healthcare facility, coffee warehouse and community meeting space. Residents will have access to new water infrastructure for farming as well as to in-home filtration systems for drinking water.
“Our investment in El Rosario builds on our two decades of experience supporting agriculture and promoting peace through development,” said Howard G. Buffett. “We hope our partnership with Nespresso and FNC will assist the Colombian government’s efforts to secure and develop the country’s rural areas and show how investments in smallholder farmers can help communities prosper through coffee rather than illicit crops.”