Nestlé Nespresso SA

Sustainability Honours Mark Nespresso's AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program's Achievements and Expansion

Tensie Whelan, Executive Director of Rainforest Alliance. presents Nespresso CEO Gerhard Berssenbrügge with the "Corporate Green Globe Award" for businesses that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to furthering sustainability. Further text under The... mehr

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Africa Arrival Compliments Central and South American Premium Coffee Sustainability Success

    Paudex (ots) - With highest quality as the driver of its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, Nestlé Nespresso SA has received two leading, international awards for the four year old AAA Program on the eve of initial talks to expand the program to Africa from Central and Southern America.

    Achievement: Double Honours for Nespresso's AAA Sustainable Quality Program™

    At its 20th Anniversary Gala in New York, May 16th 2007, Nespresso was honoured to receive the Rainforest Alliance's Corporate Green Globe Award for businesses that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to furthering sustainability.  In Long Beach CA, May 6th 2007, the Coffee Quality Institute awarded CEO Gerhard Berssenbruegge its Leadership Medal of Merit Award for his vision and drive in developing and leading the Nespresso AAA Sustainability Quality™ Program.  In the same week, Nespresso commenced its first AAA dialogue in Africa, a Stakeholder Engagement event in Nairobi, with participants from across the Kenyan coffee industry.

    "The AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was uniquely developed to set a new benchmark in sustainable highest quality coffee cultivation.  I am delighted that we at Nespresso have been able to harness our passion for quality in all we do to the benefit of our consumers, farmers and their communities in a way that creates economic, social and environmental value," said Gerhard Berssenbruegge, Nespresso CEO.

    "On their behalf, I welcome this recognition from the Rainforest Alliance and the Coffee Quality Institute.  It is a simple idea that every one benefits from a shared commitment to ultimate quality," Mr. Berssenbruegge said.

    Three key factors influenced the development of the AAA program which was launched in Costa Rica in 2003.

    - Secure the supply of the highest quality coffee for our customers;

    - Reward farmers who produce beans of highest quality with higher remuneration and through developing long term partnerships, improve the quality of life for farmers and their communities and the environmental in which they live and work;

    - Bringing consumers and farmers closer together to better understand the cultivation of highest quality green coffee in the countries of origin.

    The Rainforest Alliance, a leading NGO dedicated to improving the sustainability of agricultural production, has been an expert partner from the program's inception and, together with the Sustainable Agriculture Network, is critical to the verification of AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program farms.

    The AAA Program is establishing standards for sustainable cultivation of highest quality coffee, tailor made for different countries, regions and farm sizes, determining the nature of assessment and verification processes, as well as developing the Tool for Assessment of Sustainable Quality (TASQ™) which delivers the program.    The approach is bottom up - starting with the farmer and eventually introducing them to continuous improvement.  Today the AAA Program is operating in 9 regions across 5 countries.

    After four year's operation, the AAA Program delivers about 90,000 bags (at 60kg each) - which is currently 30% of Nespresso's green coffee needs.  As Nespresso's coffee sales are set to double in size in another four years, AAA sourced coffee will increase to about 300,000 bags a year - 50% of the business' coffee needs in 2010.

    "We are working with Nespresso to help coffee farmers both improve quality and protect their natural resources," said Tensie Whelan, Executive Director of the Rainforest Alliance.  "Together, we have developed a set of standards which we will use for verification, moving farmers up through a process of continual improvement over the next few years.  Among other items, we will help farmers to reduce water pollution, improve housing for workers and reforest erosion prone areas."

    "Through the AAA program, we have already achieved real and substantial improvement," said Mr. Berssenbrügge, "in coffee quality, environmental sustainability and social impacts across the AAA Program farms:

    - Ascertaining appropriate pricing for highest quality sustainable coffee;75% of the price we pay is received by farmers and the quality of their coffee commands a premium that has averaged 35% above the New York price

    - Creating long-term partnerships offering stability and security to farmers and their communities

    - Spreading best practices in the cultivation of highest quality green coffee to small scale farmers

    - Supporting communities by identifying specific opportunities to help to set up sustainable development projects

    Expansion: African Arrival as AAA expands to new continent.

    "Nespresso's growth must be underpinned by highest quality coffee. Industry recognition is will further drive this successful program while expanding to Africa is another milestone in our relentless pursuit of quality," Mr. Berssenbruegge said.

    "Our experience in South and Central America leads up to look for areas of supply where the AAA program can make the most significant impact.  Accordingly, Kenya is our starting point in Africa.  The response to our initial stakeholder engagement has been pleasingly positive.

    "Kenya, which labels its best coffee AA quality was the inspiration for the AAA Program - the highest quality and sustainably produced - triple "A".  Nespresso is delighted that the AAA Program's African arrival will be in Kenya.

    The Stakeholder Engagement Dialogue in Nairobi followed a week of field trips and farm inspections as well as meetings with Government, industry leaders and coffee institutions in Kenya.  Joining Nespresso CEO Gerhard Berssengruegge in facilitating the Dialogue were Mr Michael Otieno, HR and Admin Manager, representing the Coffee Board of Kenya and Dr. J. K Kimemia, Director of the Coffee Research Foundation in Kenya.

    Growers were also represented at the Dialogue event and spoke of the AAA Program.

    "We are convinced that our cooperation with Nespresso will achieve practical solutions to enhance sustainability in the coffee sector in Kenya," said Mr. Pablo Garcia, board member of Neumann Gruppe GmB, owners of Kenyan grower NKG,..  "We have no doubt about the success of this program in Kenya where farmers are clear about the close linkage between coffee quality and sustainable development."

    "We are proud of being a partner with Nespresso in this challenging program and are determined to effectively contribute in close cooperation with local and international stakeholders to make Nespresso AAA a shining example how roasters, traders and farmers can become long-term business partners while at the same time improving livelihoods of producer communities and protecting natural resources in coffee production," he said.

    Mr. Roman Müggler, MD of Volcafe Holdings, another stakeholder at the Dialogue, also commented, "Nespresso is making an enormous effort in this regard with its ground-breaking 'AAA' program, bringing producers closer to the end user and enabling a better understanding of each other's very different worlds. The program not only helps in the obvious areas, like 'good agricultural practices', it also embeds us, the exporters and merchants, deeply into in the supply chain and allows us to enhance the 'AAA' concept through our vast expertise in the sourcing, preparing, exporting and importing. The 'AAA' concept is inclusive and with its clear focus and communication, allows us to buy into this vision, to understanding the ultimate goal and to form an integral part of it."

    Kenyan coffee supplied to Nespresso had doubled since 2000.  In addition, Nespresso buys green coffee in countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania and Togo for its Grand Crus and Limited Editions.

    About Nestlé Nespresso SA

    Nestlé Nespresso SA, the worldwide pioneer and market leader in premium portioned coffee, introduced consumers to the very highest quality Grand Crus to be enjoyed in the comfort of their' own homes, as well as to be savoured at locations outside the home, such as luxury restaurants, cafes, hotels and offices. What transpired was the creation of the unique Nespresso trilogy, a unique combination of the world's highest-quality Grand Cru coffees, smart and stylish coffee machines and second-to-none customer service. The culmination of these three elements came to be known as the Nespresso Ultimate Coffee Experience. Headquartered in Paudex, Switzerland with more than 1,700 employees, Nestlé Nespresso SA sells products in more than 50 countries directly to its customers and currently operates more than 79 prestigious boutiques in key cities around the world.  In 2006, it became the fastest growing company within the Nestlé Group and one of its "billionaire brands", having achieved a growth rate of 42 percent and 1.16 billion CHF in revenue. For more information, visit and

    About the Rainforest Alliance

    The Rainforest Alliance is an international environmental organization whose mission is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. They are recognized as one of the leading organizations in successful design and implementation of sustainable forestry and agriculture. For more information visit

    About the Coffee Quality Institute

    CQI is a highly efficient organization working to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it through innovative approaches to economic sustainability.  CQI solutions have helped to improve the lives of thousands of coffee farmers and over 88% of income goes directly into these programs. CQI is able to do a lot with a little because of the expertise and diversity of our board and staff who have over 400 years of combined experience in the coffee industry. CQI is working collaboratively to create a common language for coffee quality and in doing so have helped thousands of farmers raise the quality of their coffee and better compete in the world marketplace, allowing them to make investments in their businesses as well as in their communities. CQI's work is also helping to create a more reliable source of quality coffee for the industry. Coffee is the number one most widely traded agricultural commodity in the world and CQI's only agenda is to ensure that everyone along the value chain benefits.  For more information, visit

ots Originaltext: Nestlé Nespresso SA

H.-Joachim Richter
Corporate Communications Director, Nestlé Nespresso SA
Phone:  +41/21/796'96'20 (Paudex, Switzerland)

Christine Saunders
Weber Shandwick Global Lead Team
Phone:  +41/43/255'19'31 (Zurich, Switzerland)

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