As the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program continues to expand, with practices moving further towards regenerative agriculture, the perseverance and dedication of the farmers and agronomists is paramount to its success. This year, once again, we celebrate their achievements with the Farmers & Agronomists Awards 2022.
Since 2013, we have honoured the achievements of AAA farmers with an awards ceremony. This year, like the last, the AAA Farmers & Agronomists Awards 2022 was carried out virtually, featuring nine winning teams from nine countries – a testament to the truly global nature of our coffee sourcing program, based on long-term relationships with farmers.
To really get to know our teams of producers, we hosted a total of nine interactions, one for each of the countries with a winning team. These unique experiences allowed Nespresso employees from all markets to interact directly with the farmers and agronomists from around the world, asking questions and opening new perspectives on the farmers’ lives, challenges, opportunities and how coffee production is evolving.
Many employees were meeting farmers for the first time, and after expressing gratitude and excitement for all their hard work, you could feel their shared connection with coffee.
Afterwards, a virtual award ceremony took place. Accompanied by words of recognition from Nespresso’s senior management team, the nine teams were honoured. As well enjoying the virtual ceremony, the winning teams could look forward to the arrival of their trophies, as well as their respective prize funds, earmarked for investment into their farms and other important community projects.
MEET THE WINNING AAA FARMERS AND AGRONOMISTS
Farmer: Senthil Narayan
Agronomist: Punith Janige Krishnegowda
As a third-generation farmer, Senthil is a conscious steward of his diverse farmland that hosts natural-based solutions such as manual weeding and natural compost production from coffee waste. The estate runs a creche for 40 children of workers on the farm, with two teachers, food and facilities for the children, and farm staff are provided with free medical assistance.
“We make sure we maintain 200 workers around the farm, always living with us, so they can help us in the whole process. We have schools for the children of the workers, and we’re hoping all these good practices will give good aid.”
Farmer: Iwansyah Putra
Agronomist: Aida Fitri
With a focus on transitioning to organic practices, Iwansyah engages with his community to install these practices at a landscape level. Today, almost 90% of Iwansyah's farming practices are organic. This year, Iwan has grown ginger as a cover crop, improving the soil quality as well as providing additional income for him.
“Implementing other organic practices has made the farm healthier – the soil looks better, and the coffee trees are healthier compared to other models. It was a lot of additional work but it's worth the effort.”
Farmer: Nyota Mukuza
Agronomist: Judith Zawadi Kazimwe
Nyota and Judith joined the AAA Program in 2021 but have already participated in the majority of training sessions and as a result, increased their production, increased the hiring of workers and implemented organic practices which has created additional income. Both Nyota and Judith set an example for gender equality in the community, changing perceptions of traditional gender roles by taking on equal roles and responsibilities in their work.
“I’m very proud of having been chosen from those nine winning people. That gives me strength to keep applying the best practices in my plantation.”
Farmer: Leonilde Imbachi
Agronomist: Ximena Vásquez Castro
Doña Leo is a natural leader who likes to share her knowledge. She's willing to adopt the recommendations given and always works as a team with Ximena to carry out meetings and training sessions. Ximena has implemented agroforestry as a strategy for soil conservation, mitigating the carbon footprint and protecting biodiversity, helping to balance the delicate ecosystem of the farms. Leonilde has cultivated her own independence through growing coffee.
“We bought a truck, because we only had a motorcycle and this year, we were able to improve the roof of the house and I am very happy with everything we have achieved as a family and with good technical support.”
Farmer: Elizabeth Calderon Fernandez
Agronomist: Billy Melvin Tarazona Benites
This team has focused on innovative regenerative projects with a gender approach that promotes social inclusion in their community. Training has been focused on the fundamental pillars of the AAA Program, such as regenerative practices, quality management and social inclusion while creating new job opportunities for their community, offering good working conditions.
“I have been working for a year and a half with the AAA Program and I feel happy being part of it. I can see the improvement when working with the technician who advises us, and I am really happy with the improvement in my plantation.”
Elizabeth Calderon Fernandez
Farmer: Alejandra Quesada Loria
Agronomist: Melissa Chacón Arce
Alejandra and Melissa joined the AAA Program in 2016 and have since brought holistically regenerative agricultural practices to their plantation through four pillars: nature-based solutions, agroforestry, landscape conservation and renovation. Alejandra is also a member of Piedades Norte’s rural development team. Both Alejandra and her partner are active members of a community group dedicated to fostering an agroecological community, where everyone supports each other and works together with the environment. She is also an agent of change regarding gender roles in her community.
“It’s very important that two women achieved change…I learned, I was taught with patience, and I liked it. So, it’s become a part of me. And all those changes have been important, so I’m glad, I’m very happy, excited and proud of us.”
Alejandra Quesada Loria
Farmer: Doña Natividad Aguilar Sanchez and Dalma Aguilar
Agronomist: Catherin Cabrera Silva
A story of personal growth, Doña and Dalma have taken over the farm after the passing of Doña’s husband. Their continued AAA training, implementation of new practices on the farm, use of live barriers, regenerative transition through soil nutrition and organic fertilisation have all made their farm truly stand out. The creation of their Coffee Kinder Garten program, where Dalma teaches, has helped educate the children of farm workers, and also children in the community.
“I want to work more on the farming projects, the Coffee Kinder, and to keep taking the training courses, which I really enjoy. I want to keep going and keep working all my life.”
Doña Natividad Aguilar Sanchez
Farmer: Juan Serna Herrera
Agronomist: Elizabeth Vargas Vidal
Already advanced in transitioning to regenerative agriculture, Juan and Elizabeth ensure alternative crops and medicinal plants are grown on the coffee plantation to generate additional income and food for the family and their farm workers. This practice also provides living barriers and improves biodiversity on the plantation. In 2022, Juan pledged to plant 200 trees to encourage reforestation and he is committed to gender equality practices on the farm. Juan gives women the opportunity to work and pays them the same as men on the farm. His daughter manages the harvesting and researches innovation to keep the farm moving forward.
“My family has been dedicated to coffee for many years. This prize is for both of us, mostly for (Elizabeth’s) work, and it speaks to my practices on the farms. It’s a profound feeling sharing this with you and my family. I greatly thank the company for inviting me and counting on me.”
Juan Serna Herrera
Farmer: Dominga Esmilda Moreira García
Agronomist: Jairo José Herrera Córdoba
Coffee farmer Dominga's practices have achieved high productivity through regenerative practices such as herbicide-free weed control, organic fertilisation using coffee husks and alternate planting of crops. Dominga, together with her husband Don Hilario, are pillars of the community and their farming practices set a strong example for their children and their fellow workers.
“We have improved the family room house, we are self-employed, and my children no longer need to be working outside the country. Our production has improved greatly due to the good management that we have been given, and we have closely followed the technical recommendations. Nespresso has come to change our lives, not just us, but also indirectly many families.”
Dominga Esmilda Moreira García
TO 20 MORE YEARS
Each year more and more farmers are implementing important regenerative farming models, improving their yield and also their livelihoods. As these practices become more prevalent, we can be sure these coffee-producing regions are implementing positive change year on year. Social change and progress toward gender inclusivity in farming communities has also been growing and we are delighted to recognise this move toward equality. In 2023, the AAA Program will celebrate its 20th year of creating positive impact in farming communities.
We celebrate this year’s winning farmers and agronomists, their amazing achievements and unyielding drive toward change. Next time you savour the flavour of a Nespresso coffee, join us in raising your cup to the 140,000+ AAA farmers and nearly 500 agronomists whose dedication has created a space where coffee is demonstrably a force for good.