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Growing coffee is a challenging business. It takes careful planning, skill, determination and plenty of hard work to grow a strong and profitable coffee crop.

Most coffee farmers are smallholders living in developing countries.The first challenge they face is the coffee plant. A coffee plant needs around four years to produce its first crop and it’s very sensitive to weather variations.

Then there’s the challenge of harvesting the coffee cherries, the fruit on the coffee plant. For the best results, harvesting is done by hand. This way, only the ripe coffee berries are picked and the unripe berries are left for a later picking. This is time consuming, but a better quality crop means farmers can get a better price for their coffee beans. And that’s another challenge; getting a good price for their coffee.

With the global demand for coffee increasing, coffee brands like NESCAFÉ® are working hard to improve conditions for coffee farmers. This includes developing important fair trade and responsible farming methods and certifications to make sure coffee farmers really do get the best price for their crop.


NESCAFÉ® is committed to helping coffee farmers around the world get the very best from their coffee plants and secure the future of coffee for generations to come. Not just in terms of high quality products but also in terms of ensuring that coffee farming is a worthwhile future in communities.

The NESCAFÉ® Plan, unveiled in 2010, supports farmers in many different ways. Working with the Rainforest Alliance, the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C), NESCAFÉ® is helping transform coffee farm management.

Between 2011 and 2015 NESCAFÉ® has doubled the amount of coffee bought directly from farmers and their associations, purchasing 180,000 tonnes of coffee from around 170,000 farmers. We also have continued to expand responsible farming programs for farmers, providing advice and agricultural education to over ten thousand coffee farmers per year.

We are also continuing to set up new microfinance schemes for coffee farmers. In addition, the number of community projects focused on education, public health and water supply are increasing.

At NESCAFÉ® we have also promised to distribute 220 million high-yielding, disease-resistant coffee plantlets to farmers by 2020, which will allow farmers to rejuvenate their crops, multiply yield and increase their income.