DRC – Nespresso, the coffee operating unit of the Nestlé Group has launched a new range of organic coffee, Kahawa ya Congo, in the US, sourced from the fertile volcanic slopes of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, under its unique Reviving Origins program.
The Reviving Origins program is an integral part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, the brand’s sustainable sourcing model in coffee producing countries.
Launched in 2019, the CHF10 million (US$10.3m) program is set to run for five years (2019-2023) and aims to restore coffee production in regions where it is under threat from adversities such as conflict, economic hardship and environmental disasters.
According to the company’s press-release, coffee was one of Congo’s largest exports before the country plunged into civil war in the early 2000’s that had a devastating impact on the industry.
Decades of conflict have led to many farmers fleeing their homes and abandoning their crops. Volumes have since dropped by 10 times.
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, started to implement its AAA Sustainable Quality Program in the Kivu provinces in 2019.
The program entails offering 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 the current 450 to over 5’000 by 2024.
Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso said, “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”.
“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,” said William Warshauer, president and CEO of TechnoServe.
“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,” he added
Other Initiatives under the Reviving Origins program
To support the revival of DRC’s coffee farming communities and in partnership with the Eastern Congo Initiative, Nespresso is investing CHF 1 million (US$1.09m) to bring affordable healthcare and access to clean water to communities across South Kivu.
This will contribute to eliminating cholera, a major health issue in the country.
With the investment, 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.
“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 stated.
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