Nespresso invests $20m in specialty coffee in the Democratic Republic of Congo

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Coffee nespresso specialty coffee Nestlé

Nespresso will invest $20m in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to revive specialty coffee: highlighting the potential of 'high-quality, exceptional' Arabica coffee.

The investment will cover coffee purchases, price premiums, technical assistance, community projects as well as support to help coffee farmers access global markets.

Nespresso also wants to raise an additional $20m to support coffee-growing communities in Kivu in the DRC.

The initiative is part of the Nespresso Reviving Origins program, which was created 10 years ago to restore coffee production in regions where it is under threat. The program focuses on investing in regions where coffee crops and farms are under threat – whether through economic hardship, civil conflict or natural disaster.

Reviving quality coffee – and the premiums farmers can earn from it – can be a catalyst for long-term sustainability and resilience of farming communities and economies, says Nespresso. And it can also help safeguard rare coffee varieties and protect the heritage of coffee farming.

Other investments to date from the program have included those in South Sudan, Cuba, Eastern Zimbabwe, Puerto Rico and Uganda.The program also includes collaborating with other stakeholders to bring about greater impact.

Reviving coffee in the DRC

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

Today, the country's coffee is being increasingly recognized on the specialty coffee scene.

The 2020 launch of the Nespresso Reviving Origins program in the DRC has already helped revive coffee production in the Lake Kivu region.

Picture: Nespresso

Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO Nespresso, said: "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. We have joined forces with several partners, including the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI)/ASILI, TechnoServe, the US 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."

Nespresso's sustainable coffee sourcing program, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, provides the foundation for the work in the Reviving Origins program.

In the DRC, that will involve supporting farmers in implementing regenerative practices, such as crop diversification, stumping, soil health improvement and agroforestry. Nespresso will also implement a biodiversity tracking tool using DRC unique birdlife.

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