Since 2013, we’ve taken time every year to honour the achievements of the farmers and agronomists we work with through the Nespresso AAA Farmers & Agronomists Awards.

As we expand the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, towards regenerative agriculture, we recognise that the journey will take both imagination and perseverance. That’s why, we were particularly proud that the AAA farmers chosen this year are showing that this process is well underway.

GOOD TO BE BACK

The tradition of inviting winning teams of AAA farmers and agronomists began in 2013. Previously, invitees attended an in-person awards ceremony in Switzerland, designed to commemorate their achievements and to share the results of their hard work.

In 2020, in line with COVID-19 safety measures, we made the difficult decision to postpone the awards, instead hosting virtual sessions to catch up with past winners.

In December 2021, we were delighted to once again celebrate the achievements of our AAA farmers and agronomists with a virtual award ceremony. We welcomed ten winning teams from nine countries – a testament to the truly global nature of our coffee sourcing program – and connected them to Nespresso employees to create a truly unique and memorable event.
 

TRULY EXCITING CONNECTIONS

First, we hosted a total of nine encounters, one for each of the countries with a winning team. These encounters created an opportunity for Nespresso employees from all markets to interact directly with farmers and agronomists, asking questions (with the help of translators) that gave them an authentic perspective on the challenges, opportunities, and future of coffee production. 

There was a remarkable buzz in the room, as many Nespresso employees expressed how exciting it was to share a connection with knowledgeable farmers from around the world. For many, this virtual event was their first opportunity to connect directly with the people responsible for growing the coffee they dealt with every day – and when the chat became flooded with hearts and other symbols of excitement and connection, the value of this interaction was truly apparent.

Afterwards, the virtual award ceremony took place. Accompanied by words of recognition from our management team (including Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff), the ten teams were presented with virtual prizes to accompany the trophies that had been shipped to each farming team. Each team was also awarded prize money, earmarked for investment into their farms and community projects.

 

MEET THE AAA FARMERS AND AGRONOMISTS

Catherine Mbwando and Catherine Madhuku Sithole, Vumba, Zimbabwe

Catherine joined the AAA Program in July 2019, and since then, has been employing numerous sustainable strategies on her farm. Catherine Madhuku Sithole is an agronomist and a mother, working hard to encourage farmers in the AAA Program to adopt regenerative and sustainable practices.
 

Marcelo Motanari and Edisom Carlos Ribeiro Machado, Alto Paranaíba, Brazil

Marcelo has revolutionised farming in his community by planting native trees, introducing higher plant diversification, and using a photovoltaic energy system to provide clean and sustainable energy. Edisom supported over one hundred farmers by coordinating and running online training sessions during Covid-19. He makes sure all farmers receive fair pay, benefits, and good working conditions.
 

Alexandra Calderon Rojas and Alfonso Millan, Huila, Columbia

Alexandra and Alfonso joined the AAA Program in 2010. Alexandra has focussed on reforestation, using natural fertilisers, preventing soil erosion, and managing water on her farm. She has shared equipment with her community to give them access to free physio and advocates for women’s involvement in the coffee industry.

Dr Gerald Pereira and Sachin Kumar Matthikere Duggee Gowda, Coorg, Chikmagalur, India

Gerald and Sachin Kumar have worked together to make compost, manage waste, plant trees and eliminate chemical weeding on Gerald’s family-run farm, which his daughter is set to run in his footsteps. Sachin Kumar has taught good agricultural practice, soil and water analysis, and waste management on this farm and throughout the community.
 

Wili Sopari and Muhammad Ichsan, Sunda Hejo, Indonesia

After participating in numerous AAA training sessions, Wili eliminated the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides on his farm, replacing them with natural alternatives. Muhammad has introduced organic methods to many farmers, including teaching them how to make their own compost from coffee cherry husks. 

Rafael Angel Cubero Porras and José Joaquín Méndez Gamboa, La Giorgia, Costa Rica

Rafael and José Joaquín have been part of the AAA Program since 2019. José Joaquín’s focus as an agronomist is on soil health, biodiversity, protecting water resources, and using natural strategies to control pests and diseases. During this time, Rafael’s farming has changed significantly, migrating towards more sustainable practices, in harmony with the natural environment.

Walter Joel Alonzo Solis and Julio Enrique Cano Pérez, Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Walter Joel joined the AAA program in 2015. Since then, he and Julio Enrique have improved coffee quality, yield, traceability, and the overall sustainability of their methods. Walter Joel also established a Coffee Kindergarten to care for children in his community.

Alberto Caballeros Perez and Juan Pablo Valdivia Lozano, Ixhuatlan, and Concepción Perez Martinez and Nisbet Gutiérrez Martínez, Tepatlaxco, Mexico

We were so impressed by two teams from Mexico that we decided to acknowledge both for their outstanding work. Alberto and Juan Pablo are leaders and educators in their community. Alberto makes his own fertilisers and maintains a diverse ecosystem on his farm. Concepción has been a member of Nespresso’s AAA Program since 2015, and Nisbet has been a member since 2018. The team passionately believe in Nespresso’s positive impact on the planet and the welfare of coffee producers. Both teams also work to empower women in agriculture.

Diego Lazo and Elvin Alaniz, Nueva Guinea, Nicaragua

Diego has been a part of the AAA Program since 2018. With Elvin’s guidance, he has implemented new farming methods to control erosion, recycling organic debris, and re-harvesting, and his farm holds record yields in the area. He also sponsors both a soccer and baseball team in his community.

THE POWER OF CONNECTION

The past two years have shown us that connecting – and reconnecting – with people who share the same passions, goals, and values is a powerful force for good.
 
As always, the awards ceremony focused on the value of relationships and loyalty, the commitment to agricultural best practices – sustainable, regenerative, and low carbon farming techniques – and the innovation that has brought Nespresso’s global strategy to life in individual farms and their wider communities.

AAA awards Farms Regenerative work
  
We were especially interested in celebrating a move towards regenerative farming models, that will improve lives for many years into the future. These practices are already becoming evident in many of our coffee-producing regions.
 
We were also delighted to recognise the continued progress towards gender inclusivity in farming communities. 

 

RAISE A CUP

We invite you to join us in celebrating the amazing achievements of farmers and agronomists across the world. The next time you enjoy a Nespresso coffee, join us in raising your cup to the over 140,000 AAA farmers and 491 agronomists whose dedication has made rare and high-quality sustainable coffee a reality.