Nespresso to invest 20 million USD in DRC to support the coffee growing community and the revival of the specialty coffee

Focusing on an increased sourcing of high-quality coffee, as well as implementing regenerative practices, gender equality programs and projects to increase access to healthcare and clean water.

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DRC Photographer Pacom Bagula

Nespresso aims to continue to support the local community and economy by investing 20 million USD spent across coffee purchases, price premiums and technical assistance, by 2026 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), helping to give coffee farmers access to the global markets. The ambition is also to help support fund raising of an additional 20 million USD to support the coffee growing communities in Kivu. This initiative is part of the unique Nespresso Reviving Origins program, founded 10 years ago, aiming to restore coffee agriculture in regions where it is under threat.

In 1980, coffee was the second most important export for DRC and ranked among the world’s finest but declined in the early 2000s due to years of instability that had a devastating impact on the industry.

Since the launch of the Nespresso Reviving Origins program in DRC in 2020 it has enabled the production of the exquisite coffees from the Lake Kivu region, where the once-thriving coffee farming community has been, and still is, devastated by decades of political and economic instability, that continue to rise today.

Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO Nespresso says, “Kivu has the potential to be among the world’s great coffee regions but has faced extremely challenging conditions in recent years. Through our Reviving Origins program, we work closely with Congolese farmers, and we have joined forces with partners including, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI)/ASILI, TechnoServe, the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), The Global Environment Facility (GEF), Clarmondial, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Virunga Coffee to restore and revitalize Kivu as a leading source of high-quality, exceptional Arabica coffee. In the context of escalating violence in eastern DRC where access to water is becoming insufficient, water-borne illnesses have resurfaced, and daily life is under significant upheaval, it is even more critical to help build community resilience, access to health care and clean water as well as support farmer livelihoods by continuing to give them access to the global market and empowering them in their agricultural transition.”

With the continued investment of 20 million USD in the region, as well as with the ambition to support to raise funds of another 20 million USD, Nespresso aims to continue the work to back the revival of the DRC coffee sector.

“Nespresso’s deep commitment to Kivu is creating lasting change in communities across the region. In our work together equipping farmers with the knowledge and market connections they need to thrive, we have seen the transformative impact that coffee can have in Kivu,” said TechnoServe CEO William Warshauer. “We believe this initiative will help inspire other companies to invest there.”

Abraham Leno, Executive director of ECI says, “Since we started working together, we have built a large health center and an entire water system in the farming community of Minova.  Today, our medical team provides safe deliveries and gets hundreds of kids ready for school. More than 22,000 people from the local community have access to clean water, and as displacement soars, we are a primary source of water for thousands of families fleeing violence. With the continued support from Nespresso, we aim to continue this work, expanding dignified and sustainable access to clean water and healthcare.”

Nespresso’s unique sustainable green coffee sourcing program, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, provides the foundation for the work in the Reviving Origins program. For 20 years, the AAA Program has built strong relationships with coffee farmers across the world to protect the nature and life in landscapes where coffee is grown and to strengthen communities’ resilience. When supporting to rebuilding and reviving the coffee sector in DRC, Nespresso will further deploy the AAA Program and support the farmers in implementing regenerative practices such as crop diversification, stumping, soil health improvement, agroforestry etc. Via the AAA Program Nespresso will also implement a biodiversity tracking tool using DRCs unique birdlife.

Other important projects within the AAA Program in DRC are gender equality trainings. By advancing gender equality this can have a significant impact on coffee quality and productivity and the livelihoods of coffee farming communities. To date concrete examples of actions to reduce gender disparities and increase women´s empowerment includes the increase of women agronomists, currently in DRC 42% of the agronomists are female, trainings for farmers that increase women’s empowerment, such as financial literacy, household nutrition, “Safe Spaces” gender training and women’s leadership.

Finally, since 2020 Nespresso have been collaborating with an impact digital start-up to verify and trace the coffee by harnessing the power technology.  The platform will automatically verify that farmers receive the right payment (including the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program premium) for the high-quality coffee they produce.

For further information please visit https://za.buynespresso.com/za_en/