The Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation (FNC) announced on 22 May that Nespresso agreed to contribute US$10 million a year over the next five years to finance the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program in Colombia. The commitment is part of an agreement signed between the parties that envision an overall public-private investment of approximately US$17 million per year for projects to secure productivity, quality and sustainability in coffee growing regions in Colombia, while improving the livelihoods of coffee farmers, the FNC reported in a statement. The FNC says that their agreement with Nespresso and other partners focuses on driving sustainability and value creation in Colombia. As part of the partnership, 75 per cent of the Nespresso financial commitment will provide direct incentive premiums for farmers to adopt Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality practices. Another 25 per cent will be dedicated to technical assistance and training to improve quality, sustainability and productivity. “This new five-year commitment builds on the successful cooperation of the parties that began in 2004 and seeks to further promote the significant growth of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program in Colombia,” the FNC stated. Nespresso launched the AAA Program, in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance in 2003, to protect the future of the highest quality coffee for consumers and secure the livelihoods of the coffee growers, according to the statement. Since 2004, the Nespresso AAA Program has been operating in five main regional districts of Colombia: Cauca, Nariño, Caldas, Antioquia and Huila. Today, Nespresso, the FNC and their partners in the country are working directly with more than 37,000 Colombian coffee growers as part of the program. The statement notes that this represents 80 per cent of all the farmers taking part in the Nespresso AAA Program worldwide. Over the past eight years, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program is said to have improved the lives of nearly 130,000 people. “We are extremely proud of our cooperation with Nespresso. This new investment only confirms our joint commitment to Colombian coffee growers, to sustainability and quality and to Nespresso consumers all over the world,” said Luis G. Muñoz, CEO of the FNC, in a statement. “It also shows how confident Nespresso is on the future of Colombian coffee and of Colombian coffee growers.” “We are pleased to continue our long-term commitment to Colombia and Colombian farmers by extending our partnership with FNC,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, Director of Marketing and Sustainability at Nestlé Nespresso SA, in the joint statement. “The investment that we are making confirms the key role that Colombia and its farmers play in securing coffees of exceptional quality and how programs can be effectively implemented with a leading organization such as the FNC. The proof of the strength of our AAA program is that each year hundreds, even thousands of new farmers are joining the initiative across all of Colombia. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in Colombia to create shared value, for both Nespresso consumers – by delivering the highest quality, sustainable coffee – and for coffee farmers, by helping to improve their livelihoods.” In 2011, Nespresso sourced around 25 per cent of its total green coffee from Colombia and in six years it has tripled the volume of coffee sourced through the AAA Program in the country. According to Nespresso, the company aims to source 80 per cent of its overall coffee supply through its unique AAA Program, including Rainforest Alliance certification, by 2013. Cooperation between Nespresso, the FNC, agronomists, the government, local cooperatives and Colombian farmers will play an important role in helping Nespresso achieve this objective. The FNC statement noted that Nespresso has worked closely with its Colombian partners to innovate its product range, including the single origin Rosabaya de Colombia; Dhjana, a special Limited Edition produced exclusively with coffee from the AAA Program; and the spring 2012 Naora Limited Edition, produced with a ground-breaking late harvest technique with coffee from the Santander and Tolima regions.