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As a worldwide program may be a bit abstract, we
would like to share with you some local initiatives to
present how actions are implemented with our partners
and what are our quantitative achievements at a local
level. We hope it will help to better understand what it
changes on the ground.
Brazil produces about one third of the coffee in the world and is by far the largest producing country. It's logically one of our main coffee supplying countries.
Some of the Coffee production in Brazil is already 4C verified and farmers are advanced in their farming practices.
We developed a specific program in the Monte Santo area (South Minas Gerais state), with our local partners Coex and Cooxupe, who implement it. Our main objectives are to improve farmers' environmental practices and their living conditions, focusing on access to drinkable water and efficient wastewater treatment.
WHAT WE ARE DOING LOCALLY
To improve responsible farming practices, cultivation techniques and productivity, we provide training to small groups of farmers. Since 2012, 91 farmers have been trained by dedicated agriculture and farming experts on topics such as pesticide use, water treatment and overall farm management.
We also offer soil and leaf analysis through free coupons distributed to farmers. It enables them to optimise the amount of fertilizer they use. Around 100 analyses were financed last year. The aim is to ensure high plant productivity while reducing the input costs and the risk of polluting leakages.
In a bid to improve farmers' living conditions, we financed the installation of seven septic tanks in 2012 for treating wastewater from the coffee growers.
What Happens Next
With local partners, we continue this program to help Brazilian farmers develop more responsible farming practices.
In 2013, we will continue to help local farmers, training more than 100 new farmers and placing emphasis on teaching balanced nutrition to local women. In addition, 900 new soil and leaf analyses will be offered to optimise fertilization. We also plan to implement an integrated pest management system to limit the use of chemicals.
This year, we are also focussing on helping to preserve local water sources as some farmers have spring water sources. We will pay to farmers the investment necessary to protect these sources, such as vegetation and fences. Further more, eight new septic tanks will be financed by us in 2013 and we will provide chlorine treatments to help ensure farmers’ have access to drinkable water.
With a total annual coffee production of around 50,000 tonnes and 250,000 Kenyans employed in this sector, Kenya is, historically, a major coffee producer. However, Kenyan coffee farmers remain among the poorest in the world (revenue below US$ 12 per month). As buyers of Kenyan coffee for more than 30 years, we have developed a project to help coffee growers improve their profits while also encouraging them to adopt responsible farming.
In late 2011, we entered a partnership with Coffee Management Services (CMS) Ltd. to implement a three-year project targeting over 26,000 farming households in different coffee growing zones near the Nyeri city and 9 FCS (Farmer’s Cooperative Society) with 27 wet mills in the area.
WHAT WE ARE DOING LOCALLY
We built the project around three main goals:
- improving quality and increasing revenue, through direct procurement,
- improving farming's environmental performance,
- providing farmers with more productive and disease-resistant varieties.
A key aspect in helping farmers increase crop productivity is discovering the best coffee varieties for the region. To do this, we implemented 26 demo plots managed according to coffee calendar activities and use them to train farmers in Good Agricultural Production practices. This included hiring six full time agronomists to manage the demonstrations plots.
We provided training for 371 promoter farmers who then took their training to 16,000 other farmers in Kenya to help them to adopt more responsible agricultural techniques such as reducing chemical use, making compost from coffee husks instead of burning them, and planting vetiver grass to protect against soil erosion. Amongst these promoter farmers, 74 were women and a specific program was also developed to empower them.
To help increase yield and improve the quality of plants more suited to local conditions, nine shade tree nurseries have been set up, producing over 172,000 seedlings. In addition, to ensure optimised fertilizer application and make sure farmers achieve 4C verification, we analysed 2470 soil samples from 1250 farmers’ sites.
What Happens Next
We plan to continue these initiatives and extend the projects further, keeping the demo plots as training sites for farmers and developing seedlings and plants better suited to the local environment, while continually monitoring the quality of the coffee being produced.
Our goal for 2014 is to have 28,000 coffee producers 4C compliant and to have had five out of the nine nurseries verified. This will all help to ensure that, by the end of the project, more coffee farmers in Kenya will be verified by the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C).
Ethiopia is considered as the birth place of coffee historically, discovered by shepherds when their flock began to frolic after eating the fruits of a then an unknown tree, they proceeded to "cook" the fruits over the fire and produce a brew today known as coffee. Ethiopia produces with more than 300 000 tons annually and is recognized as one of the highest quality washed Arabica coffee beans in existence. Coffee production accounts for roughly a quarter of Ethiopia’s exports and provides employment for millions of smallholder farmers.
However, despite the high quality of their coffee and because of limited access to technical assistance and tools for implementation of good agricultural practices, lack of coordination and traceability, local farmers are not integrated into commercial markets and are still facing a vicious cycle of shrinking production and growing debt.
We needed, as the largest Nescafé user of Ethiopian coffee, to find a way to improve the farmers’ coffee quality, to ensure traceability all while helping them set up responsible farming practices and husbandry.
That’s why, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we have contracted an international non-governmental organisation TechnoServe Coffee Initiative, as our implementing partner to work with the farmers so that they can move towards and meet the recognized level required for International standards.
Since 2009, we have been working with a community of smallholder farmers in a specific coffee-growing region in the South of Ethiopia to help them acquire modern skills aimed at increasing coffee quality and production and with it, improve the communities’ income and future for the generations to come.
WHAT WE ARE DOING LOCALLY
On the one hand, to address these challenges, NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® and its partners provide technical assistance to the farmers and their respective societies’ management committees in agronomy and primary processing to improve coffee quality and yields.
We also help them to adopt more responsible agricultural techniques on topics such as waste water management, soil erosion, composting, establishing wetlands and lagoons, and overall farm management/business skills. Since 2012, almost 10,000 farmers have been trained by dedicated agriculture and farming experts of which approximately 35% have been women attending the sessions.
On the other hand, we have helped improve overall 13 farmer-owned wet mills as part of the Coffee Initiative with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Furthermore, TechnoServe provides technical assistance in operating and managing the wet mills, as well as close collaboration in the business development and governance of the cooperatives.
By improving quality and volumes, these improved wet mills have given smallholder farmers a way to produce consistent, high-quality washed coffee improve their income due to higher yields, as inherently washed coffees command approximately 50 percent higher levels over and above the price of unwashed coffee.
What Happens Next
This initiative aims at ensuring that coffee farmer’s benefit from the rapidly growing and stable demand for high quality coffees within the market through training and market linkage.
With local partners, we plan to continue our work by providing agronomy training to over 20,000 coffee farmers in Ethiopia to develop more responsible and productive farming practices. In the meantime we are targeting 26 wet mills trained by 2014 with improved quality and volumes.
Our objective is to continue to contribute and work closely with these farmers, enabling them in adopting best practices and thus to ensure coffee quality, productivity and traceability. We aim to reach 100% Green Coffee sourced with traceability. Then we will have the potential to sustainably increase our sources coming from Ethiopia.