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Nestlé Trials Giving Cash To Coffee Farmers Who Grow Beans Sustainably

By Donna Ahern
Nestlé Trials Giving Cash To Coffee Farmers Who Grow Beans Sustainably

Nestlé, the world's largest packaged food company has pledged to spend $1 billion by 2030 on its plan to source coffee sustainably, which now includes efforts to boost farmer income.

The company said it has, under the plan, offered some 3,000 coffee farmers in developing countries like Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Mexico conditional cash incentives to encourage them to transition to regenerative agricultural practices.

These include using organic fertilisers to improve soil fertility, planting shade trees that protect coffee beans and intercropping to preserve biodiversity.

The latter two measures also aim to give farmers additional revenue streams.

"We have observed encouraging trends, including improved incomes in some countries, and increased adoption of important regenerative practices," said environmental group Rainforest Alliance, which helps Nestlé conduct impact assessments.


Report Findings 

major coffee report published in 2021 said there was little evidence that efforts by the world's top coffee firms to protect human rights and the environment were having any impact, with most farmers unable to fund sustainable coffee farming.

Partly as a result of failed voluntary efforts by companies to source sustainably, the European Union has agreed a landmark law aimed at preventing companies importing commodities and related products linked to deforestation anywhere in the world.

The coffee sector is valued at $200-250 billion a year at the retail level, based on the report, but producing countries receive less than 10% of that value when exporting beans, and farmers even less than that.

Around 125 million people around the world depend on coffee for their livelihoods, while an estimated 80% of coffee-farming families live at or below the poverty line, according to non-profit organisations Fairtrade and Technoserve.


Read More: Nestlé Revamps Coffee Sustainability Plan As Climate Challenges Mount

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more A-brand news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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