Authored by

VALERIE ROBERT
Global Head of HR,
Nestlé Nespresso S.A.

TRUST LIES AT THE HEART OF FARMER RELATIONSHIPS

“WE FEEL PART OF THE NESPRESSO FAMILY AND I RETURN TO MY HOME MOTIVATED TO PRODUCE A HIGHER QUALITY AND PROUD TO BE A COFFEE FARMER.” 

ROHITH MATTHEW, AAA FARMER, INDIA

Rohith’s comments during the November 2018 AAA Farmer Award celebration summarise a powerful story. Relationships built on trust between coffee producers and on-the-ground Nespresso agronomists lie at the heart of our coffee sourcing program. A network of over 460 agronomists work closely with farmers providing training and advice in order to improve the quality, productivity and the sustainability of practices and produce, as farmers tackle the day-to-day realities of coffee cultivation. 

These relationships – often close friendships – are forged over many years. 

They show that the AAA Program is far more than a coffee sourcing program. It is a farmer relationship program built on mutual understanding and respect. 

WE TRUST TRADE PARTNERS TO ACT ON OUR BEHALF

“THE MOST REWARDING MOMENT FOR ME IS REPEATED EVERY DAY WHEN I SEE THE HUMAN CONNECTION BETWEEN OUR NESPRESSO VISITORS, OUR TEAM, AND THE FARMERS. THERE ARE REAL FRIENDSHIPS BUILT. THERE IS GENUINE MUTUAL ADMIRATION, THERE IS RESPECT AND GOOD AMBIENCE EVERYWHERE. IT’S A UNIQUE TREASURE THAT I WILL KEEP FOREVER."
 
JUAN CARLOS ARDILA, COFFEE SUPPLIER, CAFEXPORT

Juan’s Carlos’ testimonial is a fair reflection of the sentiments of the 30 key trade partners we work with. They share our passion for quality – and for transforming the coffee sector into a truly sustainable coffee sector. 

Partners are empowered to implement the AAA Program and work hand-in-hand with AAA agronomists on the ground. They also help identify rare and exceptional flavour profiles and support us with the logistics of transporting coffee from producing regions to our factories in Switzerland.  

These relationships prosper when respect, trust and loyalty are at their foundations. Underpinning them is a “Shared Commitment” agreement – a mutual responsibility to sustainable coffee sourcing.

AT LEAST 55% OF OUR PEOPLE ARE IN DAILY CONTACT WITH CUSTOMERS

“I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO VISIT AAA COFFEE FARMS IN COSTA RICA AS PART OF AN EMPLOYEE TRIP. IT WAS SUCH AN AUTHENTIC MOMENT THAT NOT ONLY GAVE ADDED PURPOSE TO MY WORK BUT ALSO MOTIVATED ME TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCE WITH OTHERS.”
 

CAMILLE LAYEUX, COFFEE SPECIALIST, GENEVA BOUTIQUE

 

Like Camille, the majority of Nespresso employees interact with customers every day. These personal, human connections are integral to the overall Nespresso coffee experience. Whether face to face in boutiques or over the phone, they are invaluable to our customers and bring added meaning to the roles of employees. 

We’re increasingly looking to extend them to farmers and agronomists too. The AAA Farmer Award Program brings award-winning farmers and agronomists to Switzerland so they can see first-hand how their hard work on-farm is actually realised when their coffee is being marketed in Nespresso boutiques – and crucially connect with the people involved. 

These moments create an authentic connection between employees and farmers and fuel their shared passion for sustainable high-quality coffee.

A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING FORGES MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS 

“PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE OR WHAT YOU SAID BUT THEY’LL REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.” 

MAYA ANGELOU

This statement from the American writer, Maya Angelou, expresses what we try to make the Nespresso customer relationship about. It’s about understanding their needs. Offering an unforgettable experience. Sharing common interests and values. 

Connecting our customers with the personal farmer stories behind every cup is increasingly important. Coffees such as the post-conflict Master Origin, Colombia and our recent “The Choices We Make” communication campaign, are our first attempts to bring this notion to life. 

By creating these connections, we hope to make the overall Nespresso experience more meaningful, creating a sense of community that can make an impact on the world.

Right across our business, it is apparent that relationships are not just rooted in its success, they are the springboard to a more sustainable future.