Teaming Up On Certification: The Secret to Sustainable Quality

27 May 2020


There’s much more to Nespresso than initially meets the eye. A happy consequence of Nespresso’s early success was the realization that for us to continue our business growth, we had to assure the future of our raw material: coffee. That is why in 2003 we have partnered with the Rainforest Alliance and coffee farmers to produce exceptional coffee while protecting the environment, which also helps ensure the farmers’ livelihoods and the welfare of their families and communities.

Together with the Rainforest Alliance we created the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, which combines our coffee expertise with the Rainforest Alliance’s knowledge of social and environmental sustainability and best farming practices, meaning practices that are good for people and the planet.

Rainforest Alliance
Since 1987, the Rainforest Alliance’s ambitious mission is to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods.

AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program
Since 2003, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was created with the Rainforest Alliance. This tailor-made coffee program makes sure we can offer you the highest quality coffee supporting sustainable livelihoods for farmers and their communities while protecting their environment.

Basically we reconfigured the idea of sustainability into our own definition of Sustainable Quality to be able to create a continuous supply of the highest quality coffee by working hand in hand with coffee farming communities.

Nespresso & Rainforest Alliance
Nespresso and the Rainforest Alliance partnering to produce exceptional coffee while also protecting the environment

In the beginning, there were around 300 farmers in the program. It has grown so much, that there are now about 110,000 from 14 countries with the goal of creating Sustainable Quality.

How does it work? Through an unparalleled network of over 400 agronomists who work and live in the field, embedding the AAA standards into farmers’ ways of operating. Our future is tied to the future of the farmers, so we partner with them in a journey of continuous improvement, the reach and likes of which is absolutely best-in-class.

What do farmers say? “We have invested the additional income we have gained through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in our farm, in our children’s education, and in the livelihood of our family and that of our workers.” Olga Lucía Otero, AAA farmer in Colombia since 2006.

After all their hard work, farmers have started to envision the possibility of being able to reach Rainforest Alliance certification in addition to participating in the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program.

This combination empowers coffee farmers by investing in community infrastructures, paying premiums for superior coffee, and encouraging best agricultural practices.

In addition, it provides farmer training, financing, and technical assistance to continuously improve quality, sustainability, and productivity.

That is why today we source 95% of our permanent coffees from the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program and more than 56% of all our coffee comes from farms that have achieved Rainforest Alliance certification.

“We are proud of the achievements that the Nespresso and Rainforest Alliance collaboration have accomplished to date and look forward to continued progress as we work together with farmers to create shared value and vibrant coffee communities”.

– Nigel Sizer, President, Rainforest Alliance

So whenever you enjoy great coffee, think about Sustainable Quality and how these two words help ensure that the beans have been produced with the greatest of care for the environment, farm workers, their families and farming communities.

Rainforest Alliance Certified
We source more than 95% of our coffee from AAA farms and over 56% of all of our coffee from the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms

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