Jose Arias González, a coffee farmer from Colombia, describes how the industry’s first retirement savings scheme is providing a financial safety net and attracting the next generation back into farming
“This fund is a bit like a small tree: I nurture and tend it until, one day, it becomes so big that I can rest in its shade”, Colombian coffee farmer José Arias González explains, as he reflects on the benefits of a programme that is supporting him and 850 other smallholder farmers in Caldas, a region famous for producing some of the world’s best coffee.
The following nine innovations demonstrate Nespresso’s commitment to creating positive change for the farmer communities which supply its high quality coffee, the environment in which it operates and the people it interacts with - from farmer to consumer. They also help to underpin the company’s growth strategy as it considers how and where it can create the most sustainable value and build for long-term success in the face of tough global challenges, such as climate change.
1. A unique sourcing model that embeds sustainability
Luis Diego Aguilar Mora does not work far from where he was born and raised on a farm in the province of Cartago in central Costa Rica. Here, coffee cultivation has been one of the leading industries since the 19th century, with some of the world’s finest Arabica coffee beans growing along the lush hillsides of Orosí Valley.
Isaya is amongst the 500 farmers that currently take part in the project led by Nespresso and TechnoServe to revive coffee production in South Sudan.
In a village with the musical name of “KweKwete”, Isaya Lokolong Latiyo was born and raised. Close by to the newly established cooperative wet mill of Arikose in South Sudan, implemented thanks to Nespresso and he non-profit organisation TechnoServe, Isaya tends to the coffee farm he inherited from his father. Of Isaya’s six children, one works as a police officer, one serves as a customs officer at the border and three attend school. The family income has come entirely from farming, especially coffee, which earned the cash to educate Isaya’s children.
Like many of Colombia’s greatest coffee-producing regions, Caldas is situated high up in the mountains where the unique micro-climate protects the production of the finest quality coffee. The farmers that live and work there operate small farms of around 2-3 hectares, on average. And the landscape is challenging; at such high altitudes and with scarce road infrastructures, people often have to rely on the use of donkeys to climb to their farms, transport their goods and get around.
The first coffee to be exported from the new country of South Sudan will be available to consumers in the coming weeks. And the story of how Suluja — a bold, silky textured coffee with intense aromas — came to be created is no ordinary one.