Coffee is a science practices with responsibility at Nestlé

Aurel Constantin 31/01/2023 | 12:48

The world’s most popular drink and the world’s second most traded commodity after oil is coffee, and Europe is the largest importer – somewhat natural, considering that the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé, has its origins on the old continent. Practically, more than 14% of the coffee consumed worldwide is NESCAFÉ.


A huge amount of work, billions of euros invested in sustainable agriculture and almost 50 years of scientific research are three ingredients that you don’t feel when you drink a cup of NESCAFÉ, at home or in a cafe, with or without sugar. There are no less than 15 distinct stages between the moment you pick the coffee bean and the moment you end up sipping the black nectar, which can span for at least half a year from harvesting, depending on many elements, from processing and storage, to transportation and storage, and so on.

To ensure fair and sustainable cultivation in as many areas as possible, Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, launched an ambitious program to support coffee farmers in 2010. Between 2010 and 2020, under the Nestlé Plan, 235 million coffee tree seedlings from grafted varieties were delivered and generated 53% less water consumption – requiring less irrigation.

The performance was made possible by advances at the research centre in Tours, France, where Nestlé is running trials with 26 Arabica and 72 Robusta varieties from different geographical areas to create grafts that are more resistant to disease, pests, and climate change.

These varieties can generate 25% to 100% higher yields, depending on local conditions, with much reduced water consumption. For example, a multi-year research project co-funded by Nestlé revealed that 60% less water consumption (from 1,000 litres to 400 litres) per coffee tree using modern methods is sufficient. This savings has led to less energy used to pump water and a 53% reduction in water used to irrigate Nestlé-supported coffee plantations from 2010 to 2020.

More than 700,000 coffee farmers in 15 countries in Latin and South America, Africa, Asia and Indochina have benefited from Nestlé’s support to develop crops that are more efficient in all aspects. As a result, in 2020, 75% of NESCAFÉ coffee had perfectly traceable sources, which means a transparency of the path of the coffee bean from the farm to the company’s warehouses. The plan is for 100% of the coffee beans used by Nestlé to be traceable by 2025.

We strongly believe in our motto “Good Food, Good Life” which is the basis of the partnerships we have with companies of all shapes and sizes. Through everything we do we seek to provide our customers and partners in the various divisions of the “out of home” channel (HoReca, office & industry, retail-convenience) with the highest quality, market-relevant products and services for the end consumer. A mix of elements that together define the ultimate goal of providing consumers with the guarantee of a quality experience. Sustainability is a very important component of this mix, and in this sense the NESCAFÉ coffee we use in Romania, for Nestlé Professional dedicated products, comes from 100% perfectly traceable sources, which means controlling its quality and origin throughout the entire coffee bean route, from the farmer to us, through the entire global logistics system”, says Ovidiu Tunaru, Business Executive Officer Nestlé Professional.

The traceability of the raw material is of crucial importance for the quality of the finished product, but also for the certification of the provenance and manner of cultivation and harvesting of the coffee, from safe sources from the point of view of food safety.

In 20 of Nescafé’s factories around the world, Nestlé uses coffee grounds as biofuel, saving 555,000 barrels of oil a year, equivalent to an annual emission of 195,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Worldwide, 125 million people in 22 countries in Latin and South America, Africa, Asia and Indochina live from coffee cultivation on 12.5 million farms that have an average area of up to two hectares.

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