Creating Positive Supply Chains for Nespresso

[Anthesis] has been instrumental in helping to evolve our strategic sustainability thinking working with all stakeholders through the process and supporting our positive impact ambition.”

Jérôme Perez – Head of Sustainability, Nespresso


Nespresso is a major global coffee brand and the pioneer of the portioned coffee sector. In 2002, Nespresso faced the challenge of how to integrate sustainability into its coffee supply chain, ensuring traceability and social, economic and environmental sustainability in farming communities.

GoodBrand, part of the Anthesis Group, supported the company in the creation of its unique sourcing programme, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ programme, co-created with the sustainable agriculture NGO, Rainforest Alliance. In 2013, Nespresso asked GoodBrand to advise on the deeper integration of a new sustainability strategy into the corporate strategy.


Through analysis and interviews with internal management and external stakeholders, we identified the most important systemic issues impacting the sustainability of the coffee industry, and Nespresso’s operations. These issues included the effects of climate change and farmer succession in coffee growing areas and also issues related to the sustainable and circular use of aluminium in capsule packaging.

From these insights, we developed a comprehensive sustainability strategy, called ‘The Positive Cup’, that has been integrated into the wider corporate strategy.

Over the last 15 years, we have developed a series of innovations alongside the Nespresso team to bring this strategy to life in concrete actions and commitments. This includes the creation of the ‘reviving origins’ coffee range, where Nespresso has worked with governments and the third sector to reintroduce coffee farming in parts of the world where it has collapsed owing to conflict or low levels of economic development. Two examples from Cuba and South Sudan are set out in the Nespresso creating shared value report, The Positive Cup.

In addition, through collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Labour, the Aguadas Coffee Growers Cooperative and Fairtrade International, we helped to facilitate intergenerational succession on coffee farms by establishing the launch of the first-ever retirement savings plan for smallholder coffee farmers in Colombia, where Nespresso source a large amount of their Arabica coffee. We have also helped develop programmes that reduce the risks to smallholders such as climate-related weather incidents that can damage harvests, resulting in the piloting of a weather indexed crop insurance scheme, unique to the coffee sector.


  • 95% of coffee is sourced through the AAA programme from over 120,000 farmers across 15 countries.
  • Improved livelihoods – social (+22.6%), environmental (+52.1%) and economic (41.0%) vs conventional farming.
  • 90% satisfaction with the AAA Program from AAA farmers.
  • 2045 AAA and Fairtrade-certified farmers enrolled in the savings plan.
  • Strong leadership in the coffee industry around farmer welfare.
  • Greater economic stability and sustainable future for coffee growers.