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
AAA ENCOMPASSES 3 SCOPES OF INTERVENTION TO DELIVER POSITIVE IMPACT
3. WIDER SYSTEMIC
|Empower farmers through
sustainable quality agricultural
practices – 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.
|Leverage the collective
resources of farmer
governments to address
wider coffee sector challenges.
SANTIAGO GOWLAND, CEO, 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.”
To know more about the AAA Program, discover The AAA Shared Commitment:
It describes the partnership and governance between Nespresso and the coffee partners implementing the AAA Program based on the shared program vision, strategy, implementation and related commitments.
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.
DOMINGA ESMILDA MOREIRA GARCÍA, AAA FARMER, NICARAGUA
“OUR PRODUCTION HAS IMPROVED GREATLY DUE TO THE GOOD MANAGEMENT THAT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN, AND WE HAVE CLOSELY FOLLOWED THE TECHNICAL RECOMMENDATIONS.”
MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF THE AAA PROGRAM
Third parties such as Enveritas are responsible for regularly monitoring and evaluating a sample of farms. They help identify gaps in practice adoption and further qualify the underlying drivers of impact towards coffee quality, social wellbeing, farmer livelihood and environmental protection.
Certification and impact
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.
In addition to verification, a number of independent reviews have shown the positive impact that the AAA Program delivers on the ground.
AAA FACT FILE 2020
Over 150,000 farmers
119,864 farms were
1 'Agronomists' include all staff working directly on the AAA Program, including agronomists, field staff, project and support staff.
20 YEARS AND COUNTING
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the AAA Program. From 300 Costa Rican farmers then to more than 150,000 farmers in 18 countries now, it is a journey that every partner involved can be proud of. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do: the future destination for the AAA Program is already abundantly clear. We must fully harness the power of nature, to both restore and protect it. Moving beyond sustainable farming to embrace regenerative agriculture practices.
A REGENERATIVE FUTURE WITH AAA
Developed together with key partners and experts, our vision is an agriculture that uses practices based on nature, is low in carbon emissions and profitable for farmers. Regenerative agriculture Harnesses the power of nature rather than depleting it – recognising that nature is our greatest ally in securing the future of coffee.
To bring this vision to life we are employing three levers of action:
1. Nature-based farming
Promoting practices based on nature that allow for resource protection and soil health improvement, such as composting and mulching.
Encouraging the planting of native trees in and around coffee farms which serve as a natural habitiat for biodiversity, enable carbon sequestration, and provide income diversification opportunities for farming communities.
Supporting an agriculture that is mindful of the natural ecosystems around coffee farms and that protects the habitats of species whilst conserving biodiversity and water sources.
This transition is being made in accordance with the new Rainforest Alliance Regenerative Coffee Scorecard, co-developed with Nespresso.
AN INCLUSIVE VALUE CHAIN
Through direct relationships, technical assistance and social initiatives, the AAA Program aims to makes a tangible difference to farming families and improve their futures in coffee agriculture. In many areas, we are seeing first-hand how a commitment to inclusion and gender equality is catalysing change for the better.
SANTIAGO GOWLAND, CEO, THE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
“WE HAVE WORKED TOGETHER WITH NESPRESSO FOR TWO DECADES CHAMPIONING SUSTAINABLE COFFEE AGRICULTURE. WE ARE COMMITTED TO ACCELERATING OUR SHARED JOURNEY TO REGENERATIVE FARMING THAT IMPROVES RURAL LANDSCAPES AND LIVELIHOODS.”
Article updated in: September 2023.