Nespresso, the coffee brand by Nestlé, has announced what they call their along-term commitment towards reviving the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) coffee industry. Known as the Reviving Origins program, Nespresso has launched an organic coffee of the range, KAHAWA YA CONGO, in the USA as part of the program.
Also, as part of its Reviving Origins program, Nespresso, together with the global non-profit TechnoServe, the U.S Agency for International Development and coffee trader Virunga Coffee/Olam International, has started to implement its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in the Kivu (DRC) provinces in 2019, through training and technical support, to improve coffee quality and productivity, in addition to establishing sustainable farming practices, and increasing farmer income. Nespresso's ambition is to increase the number of Congolese farmers participating in the program from 450 today to over 5'000 by 2024.
"We are very proud to welcome Congo into our Reviving Origins program and we are committed to providing long term support that will help Congolese coffee farmers, and their communities, to rebuild their coffee industry and their local economies," said Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso.
Boosting African coffee farmers and entrepreneurs
Coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world with approximately a $100 billion market worldwide. More importantly, women account for 70% of coffee farmers around the world and in Africa.
Coffee farmers in Africa must benefit from the industry because, as we have witnessed with other natural resources from Africa and especially the DRC, the raw resources are exported at extremely low prices. The finished and processed products end up being sold for much more than what the farmers earn, leaving them living hand-to-mouth while the larger profits in the coffee supply chain end up with the companies selling the processed products.
The other problem with the coffee supply chain is that farming communities in Africa are forced to accept low prices and delayed payments for their harvested coffee beans.
"The coffee farmers we are working with have overcome incredible challenges over the years, and are determined to improve their coffee and in so doing, improve their lives. Through better agronomic and processing techniques, and the engagement of a reliable buyer like Nespresso, these farmers are already increasing their incomes and starting to build a better future for their families," said William Warshauer, president and CEO of TechnoServe.
Reviving coffee while enabling access to clean water and health support
Decades of conflict have led to many farmers fleeing their homes and abandoning their crops. But coffee agriculture is not the only challenge. Today, 58% of households in the DRC lack access to clean water systems, and 15% of children do not reach their 5th birthday, with preventable and treatable diseases such as water-borne illnesses, acute respiratory infections, and malaria among the leading causes.
To support the revival of DRC's coffee farming communities and in partnership with the Eastern Congo Initiative, Nespresso is investing CHF 1 million to bring affordable healthcare and access to clean water to communities across South Kivu, contributing to eliminating cholera, a major health issue in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 23 water access points and six health clinics will be established (one primary and five mobile) which will deliver 13,000 health consultations per year to local communities. This will significantly improve coffee farming communities' welfare and is part of Nespresso's holistic approach to reviving the coffee industry in challenging areas.
"Everyone has the right to basic healthcare and clean, safe water, but for many communities in the Kivu region – blighted by years of conflict, instability and economic hardship – these services remain inaccessible or unaffordable. Through the establishment of much-needed water points and health clinics, the Reviving Origins program will positively impact thousands of people and transform lives," Guillaume Le Cunff added.
"Through years of fighting and insecurity, Congolese families kept tending to their coffee fields, even after the market disappeared," said ECI field operations manager Valéry Namuto. "They kept toiling because they had hope in a brighter future for their families. This new partnership with Nespresso will help secure a meaningful livelihood for skilled Congolese farmers and bring world-class basic services like clean drinking water and affordable healthcare to their communities."
Nespresso formally launched the Reviving Origins program in 2019 to revive coffee agriculture and local coffee economies in regions affected by adversities such as conflict, economic hardship and environmental disasters, following several years of experience in reviving forgotten coffee, starting in South Sudan in 2011. It is an integral part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, the company's unique sustainable sourcing model in coffee producing countries, which involves more than 110,000 farmers across the world.Share this via: