The Swiss multinational Nestlé is launching the Nescafé Plan 2030. The programme, which will require an investment of more than €1 billion from Nestlé, aims to make coffee growing more sustainable.
Nestlé is investing in sustainable agriculture through its famous Nescafé brand. The Swiss multinational plans to invest one billion Swiss francs (EUR 1.025 billion) to implement its new Nescafé Plan 2030 programme. The programme is designed to encourage coffee growers to move towards regenerative agriculture, which is now a necessity in the face of climate change.
Generative agriculture, at the heart of Nestlé’s strategy, brings together a set of agricultural practices whose primary objective is to naturally enhance soil quality or restore fertility to diseased or depleted soils. These practices are largely based on natural farming traditions from around the world, but also on modern research and innovation in sustainable agriculture.
Financial incentives to adopt sustainable techniques
Through the Nescafé Plan 2030, Nestlé intends to convince farmers to adopt cover crops, which are known to add biomass to the soil. In order to improve soil quality, farmers will have to use organic fertilisers and, above all, replace existing coffee trees with varieties that are resistant to disease and climate change. To achieve this, Nestlé is providing training, technical assistance and high-yielding coffee plants.
The Vevey, Switzerland-based multinational is also banking on financial incentives for farmers in Ivory Coastp, Mexico and Indonesia. This will be part of a programme that also aims to protect farmers’ incomes through weather insurance and improved access to credit lines. “Nescafé aims to have a real impact on coffee growing on a global scale. We want coffee farmers to prosper, just as we want coffee to have a positive impact on the environment. Our actions can contribute to change in the entire coffee sector,” says Philipp Navratil, Head of Nestlé’s Strategic Business Unit Coffee.
The need for sustainable coffee production
The new sustainable agriculture programme is being developed as part of Nestlé’s sustainability policy. With this approach, the Group wants to achieve 100% of coffee from responsible sources by 2025 and 20% of coffee from regenerative farming methods by 2025, and 50% by 2030.
However, like soya and cocoa, coffee is one of the products whose cultivation is contested by environmentalists because of its impact on biodiversity. And the expansion of the area under cultivation is causing even more concern. Brazil and Colombia are the world’s two main coffee producers, followed by Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam) and Ethiopia.
In 2014, the increase in the area of coffee plantations was 100,000 hectares according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). West Africa is the main cocoa-producing region, with Ivory Coast (31%), Ghana (18%), Nigeria 8%, as well as Cameroon, which produces 6% of the world’s coffee. Indonesia (17%) in Southeast Asia and Brazil (5.5%) and Ecuador (3%) in South America.
Jean Marie Takouleu