Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Café Aficionado: Nestlé instant coffee’s upcoming 75th anniversary

Next year, 2013, marks a milestone for Vevey-based food company Nestlé. It’s the 75th anniversary of its introduction of Nescafé instant.

True coffee aficionados who still brush off at the credibility of ‘instant’ may want to take another look. Nestlé’s painstaking development of the genre since 1938, supported by banking partner Credit Suisse, has created a range of beverages that has won consumer acceptance worldwide.

Nestlé’s long track record of coffee innovation was its 1986 launch of Nespresso, an ingenious system that turns capsules of ground coffee into instant – and very real – espressos. More recently, Nestlé’s Dolce Gusto coffee maker adds delicious mochas, lungos, latte macchiatos and frothy cappuccinos to the repertoire of restoratives you can easily make in your own kitchen or office.

Undoubtedly, Nestlé has reinvigorated the European coffee industry just as effectively as its products have refreshed time-pressed people, both at home and in the workplace.

Here in the Philippines, according to Business World Online, Nestlé is projecting to purchase as much as 204,000 metric tons of coffee beans straight from local growers by the year 2020 through Farmer Connect, a direct buying system that targets small farmers and small-scale intermediaries.

The statement quoted Hans Joehr, Nestlé’s Agriculture corporate head, as saying its Farmer Connect program is designed to make coffee farming "a more profitable livelihood."

"The Farmer Connect program is part of our solution to get high-quality coffee delivered to us long term -- beyond 2020," said Hans Joehr, Nestlé’s Agriculture corporate, citing the need to sustain supply by developing "the next coffee-producing generation."

"As local farmers bring in and sell their coffee directly to us through Farmer Connect, we make sure that they gain access to competitive prices for their locally produced coffee beans," he explained.

"In effect, what we are really trying to achieve through Farmer Connect is to make coffee an attractive crop to grow and make it a sustainable livelihood for our growers."

At the core of the Farmer Connect model are Nestlé Satellite Buying Stations, which are strategically situated at various points across the country.

These buying stations are where coffee farmers are able to sell their produce based on prevailing world market prices.

The same statement quoted Edith de Leon, senior vice-president and head of Corporate Affairs of Nestlé Philippines, Inc., as saying: "Nestlé endeavors to be as close to coffee farmers as possible. Through our direct buying stations strategically located across the country, small farmers can sell their produce directly to Nestlé and they are guaranteed of getting a buying price which is aligned with global market prices."

"It also enables farmers to get the payment within eight banking hours, thus the farmers can immediately benefit from the sale of their produce to Nestlé," she added.

Farmer Connect also trains farmers through Nestlé Better Farming Practices program, on increasing yields, controlling costs, improving crop quality, and mitigating impact of changing climate.

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