DEVELOPED FOR FARMERS TOGETHER WITH THE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
The sustainability challenges of coffee cultivation – and more specifically high-quality coffee cultivation – are widely recognised. Farmers are exposed to unacceptable levels of uncertainty and risk, such as from climate change and economic volatility, which threaten their livelihoods. That’s why, in 2003, our sourcing team partnered with the Rainforest Alliance to develop an innovative and sustainable approach to coffee sourcing.
Our combined expertise gave rise to two truths.
Firstly, high-quality coffee and the sustainability of farming communities are interconnected. And secondly, only by building trust, loyalty and long-standing relationships with coffee producers can we hope to make a positive difference.
With that, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was born.
HIGH-QUALITY COFFEE AND SUSTAINABILITY GO HAND-IN-HAND
Quality cannot be assured and maintained without the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of farming communities. That’s why the AAA Program aims to improve productivity and quality while promoting the adoption of socio-environmental practices and approaches.
AAA is built on 3 pillars of impact
Help farmers produce higher
quality coffees which benefit
from increased revenues
and also provide access
to new and differentiated markets.
Enable productivity improvements and assist in farm economic management, providing greater income stability to farmers.
Improve the social and
of farming practices
to increase the wellbeing
and financial security
of farmers, and protect
AAA Encompasses 3 Scopes of Intervention to Deliver Positive Impact
Empower farmers through
sustainable quality agricultural
ractices – the heart
of the AAA Program.
Act as a catalyst to build
solutions for communities
and landscapes in
the face of off-farm risks
such as climate change.
3. WIDER SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS
Leverage the collective
resources of farmer
governments to address
wider coffee sector challenges.
HAN DE GROOT, PRESIDENT, RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
"WE’RE PROUD TO HAVE HELPED BUILD AAA.
IT’S WORKING TO DRIVE OUR SHARED MISSION AND ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.”
THE FARMER-AGRONOMIST RELATIONSHIP MAKES THE POSITIVE DIFFERENCE
The journey towards sustainable quality that farmers undertake is guided and supported by Nespresso agronomists, working closely with them on the ground. The strong bonds formed lie at the heart of the relationship’s enduring success. The Tool for the Assessment of Sustainable Quality (TASQ™) plays a pivotal role, underpinning the relationship.
Available via an app, the TASQ™ enables real-time data to be collected on the adoption of AAA practices across the three pillars of impact and encourages farmers to learn-by doing.
HUMBERTO GALEANO SANCHEZ, AAA COFFEE FARMER, AGUADAS CALDAS, COLOMBIA
“WITH THE PROGRAM, NESPRESSO HAS TAUGHT US TO FOCUS ON QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY.”
MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF THE AAA PROGRAM
Independent organisations such as the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) are responsible for monitoring and evaluating a sample of farms every other year. They help identify gaps in practice adoption and further qualify the underlying drivers of impact towards coffee quality, farm productivity, social wellbeing, farmer livelihood and environmental protection.
Today, farmers can opt to certify the performance of their farms via the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International and Fairtrade USA certifications. This means Nespresso coffees can carry the respective organisation’s seals. Recently, agroforestry operations within AAA farms and landscapes have also been certified against recognised Carbon Standards, confirming the fact they are generating carbon credits.
In addition to independent verification, we’re eager to be part of impact studies that evaluate how the AAA Program performs on the ground. In 2013, the research institute CRECE’s study showed the AAA Program delivering positive impacts versus conventional coffee farming on social (+22.6%), environmental (+52.1%) and economic (+41.0%) indices. In 2018, an independent review of AAA Program operations in Colombia, by the London and Toulouse Schools of Economics, concluded that the program achieved a greater value transmission to farmers and the adoption of quality production practices – both contributing to improved farmer welfare.
These studies not only recognise the achievements of farmers and agronomists but also provide valuable input to steer us in the future.
AAA FACT FILE 2020
Over 120,000 farmers
in 15 countries
CHF 40m investment per year
in technical assistance
Assessment tools for
agronomists and verifiers
The AAA shared commitment
defining roles and
responsibilities with our
suppliers for the deployment
of the AAA Program
2 to 3 agronomists contact
with individual farmers
93% of Nespresso coffee
the AAA Program
48% of Nespresso volume
sourced from certified farms
Around 20,000 of farms
have obtained certification
(Rainforest Alliance, FLO,
enabling farmers to realise
greater value from
Contributions to 11 SDGs
TOWARDS A REGENERATIVE FUTURE
The AAA Program continues to evolve as an incubator for transformational approaches to sustainable quality coffee production, challenging the status quo. It particularly encourages far greater application of nature-based solutions that replenish ecosystems while delivering income diversification.
An approach generating positive impacts on farming communities and their landscapes.
Chris Wille, Independent conservationist, Former Chief of Sustainable Agriculture, Rainforest Alliance
“The AAA Program continues to evolve as a global laboratory for sustainability, proofing assumptions, testing new concepts, expanding the boundaries. It is demonstrating the importance of agroforestry, making farms resilient and future-proofing them to changes in climate, markets and local socio-environmental conditions. It is proving the power of collaboration: looking beyond the farm to landscapes and the future of farm families.”