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.

TRUTH N°1: 
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

 
QUALITY
 

Help farmers produce higher
quality coffees which benefit
from increased revenues
and also provide access
to new and differentiated markets.

 
PRODUCTIVITY
 

Enable productivity improvements and assist in farm economic management, providing greater income stability to farmers.

SOCIAL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Improve the social and
environmental sustainability
of farming practices
to increase the wellbeing
and financial security
of farmers, and protect
natural capital.

AAA Encompasses 3 Scopes of Intervention to Deliver Positive Impact

1. FARM
MANAGEMENT

Empower farmers through
sustainable quality agricultural
ractices – the heart
of the AAA Program.

2. COMMUNITY
RESILIENCE

Act as a catalyst to build
solutions for communities
and landscapes in
the face of off-farm risks
such as climate change.

3. WIDER SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS 

Leverage the collective
resources of farmer
organisations, academics,
municipalities and
governments to address
wider coffee sector challenges.

"WE’RE PROUD TO HAVE HELPED BUILD AAA.
IT’S WORKING TO DRIVE OUR SHARED MISSION AND ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.”

HAN DE GROOT, PRESIDENT, RAINFOREST ALLIANCE

TRUTH N°2:
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.

“WITH THE PROGRAM, NESPRESSO HAS TAUGHT US TO FOCUS ON QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY.”

HUMBERTO GALEANO SANCHEZ, AAA COFFEE FARMER, AGUADAS CALDAS, COLOMBIA

MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF THE AAA PROGRAM

Independent organisations such as the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) are responsible for monitoring and evaluating a sample of farms every other year. They help identify gaps in practice adoption and further qualify the underlying drivers of impact towards coffee quality, farm productivity, social wellbeing, farmer livelihood and environmental protection.

 

Independent certification

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. Recently, agroforestry operations within AAA farms and landscapes have also been certified against recognised Carbon Standards, confirming the fact they are generating carbon credits.

 

Proven impact

In addition to independent verification, we’re eager to be part of impact studies that evaluate how the AAA Program performs on the ground. In 2013, the research institute CRECE’s study showed the AAA Program delivering positive impacts versus conventional coffee farming on social (+22.6%), environmental (+52.1%) and economic (+41.0%) indices. In 2018, an independent review of AAA Program operations in Colombia, by the London and Toulouse Schools of Economics, concluded that the program achieved a greater value transmission to farmers and the adoption of quality production practices – both contributing to improved farmer welfare.

These studies not only recognise the achievements of farmers and agronomists but also provide valuable input to steer us in the future.

 

 

AAA FACT FILE 2019

 

 

 

REACH

Over 110,000 farmers
in 14 countries

MEANS

400 agronomists
• 
CHF 42m investment per year
in technical assistance
and premiums

Assessment tools for
agronomists and verifiers

The AAA shared commitment
defining roles and
responsibilities with our
suppliers for the deployment
of the AAA Program

OUTCOME

2 to 3 agronomists contact
with individual farmers
per year
• 
95% of Nespresso coffee
sourced through
the AAA Program
• 
56% of Nespresso volume
sourced from certified farms
(Rainforest Alliance,
FLO, FTUSA) 
• 
Around 20,000 of farms
have obtained certification
(Rainforest Alliance, FLO,
Fairtrade USA)
enabling farmers to realise
greater value from
their coffee 
• 
Contributions to 9 SDGs

Nespresso SDGs

KEY PARTNERS

Key Partners

 

 

TOWARDS A REGENERATIVE FUTURE

The AAA Program continues to evolve as an incubator for transformational approaches to sustainable quality coffee production, challenging the status quo. It particularly encourages far greater application of nature-based solutions that replenish ecosystems while delivering income diversification. 

An approach generating positive impacts on farming communities and their landscapes.
 

 

“The AAA Program continues to evolve as a global laboratory for sustainability, proofing assumptions, testing new concepts, expanding the boundaries. It is demonstrating the importance of agroforestry, making farms resilient and future-proofing them to changes in climate, markets and local socio-environmental conditions. It is proving the power of collaboration: looking beyond the farm to landscapes and the future of farm families.”

Chris Wille, Independent conservationist, Former Chief of Sustainable Agriculture, Rainforest Alliance