BusinessDay

Nestle to invest over $1 billion in sustainable coffee farming plan

Nestle SA, the world’s largest coffee company, on Tuesday, launched the Nescafe Plan 2030, a plan that will see it make coffee farming more sustainable.

According to plan, the company will invest more than 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.01 billion) by 2030 to encourage farmers supplying its Nescafe brand to employ more sustainable farming methods against the climate change menace that poses threats.

The brand is working with coffee farmers to help them transition to regenerative agriculture while accelerating its goal of having 100 percent responsibly-sourced coffee by 2025, up from 82 percent in 2021, and half of the coffee it grows sourced from regenerative agricultural methods by 2030.

As climate change and extreme weather threaten crops, “we will not have viable coffee farms in 20 or 30 years if we don’t take action now,” David Rennie, head of Nestle’s coffee business said, in a statement made available to BusinessDay.

Nestle will support farmers transitioning to more regenerative practices by offering technical assistance and high-yielding coffee plantlets to help them, training on best planting techniques, good practices that improve soil health, plant fertility, and water usage.

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The Swiss packaged-foods giant will also provide cash incentives to motivate farmers to take actions, such as planting cover crops to protect the soil.

According to the press statement, coffee is grown near the equatorial belt, which has been most susceptible to extreme weather, including droughts and hurricanes.

“Rising temperatures are a long-term threat and will reduce the area suitable for growing coffee by as much as 50 percent by 2050,” Rennie disclosed.

At the same time, more than 5,500 cups of Nescafe are being drunk across the world every second, and an estimated 80 percent of coffee-farming families live at or below the poverty line, Rennie revealed, even as he called for more action to ensure the long-term sustainability of coffee.

Nescafe added it will also work with coffee farmers to test and assess agriculture practices that restore the soil biodiversity.

“This will be done with a focus on seven key origins, from where the brand sources 90 percent of its coffee: Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, and Honduras”.

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