Colombia’s Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros is partnering with Nespresso to help rural farmers in Colombia revitalize the coffee industry in poorly developed areas during the nation’s post-conflict phase. The day after negotiators for the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) reached a final peace accord in Havana, the organizations announced a plan to begin selling grounds made from beans in Caquetá, a large but sparsely populated region in the Amazon that has been ravaged by war for decades.
The Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros, the Colombian coffee federation that turned Juan Valdez into a global icon, will help connect the Nestle-owned Swiss company with small farmers to improve the quality and yields that they produce.
With better sales and higher-quality beans, Nespresso hopes that some of these low-income families can reintegrate into society after facing generations of hardship.
“Our farmers produce some of the best coffee in the world, but the conflict has meant many have had to leave their farms,” said Roberto Vélez, CEO of the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros. “And the small number who remained have only been able to produce a limited amount. Through our work with Nespresso, we will support the farmers who have remained and encourage those who were displaced to return.”
A limited production coffee that Nepresso will brand “Aurora de la Paz” — Dawn of Peace — is expected to be available for sale before the end of the year. Though the initiative, which is a new part of its “AAA Sustainable Quality Program,” will begin in Caquetá, the firm hopes to expand the geographical reach to other areas soon.
“By investing in Caquetá and other regions affected by the conflict in Colombia, we aim to help farmers rebuild their communities,” said Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nespresso.
The peace accord reached on Wednesday ended more than a half-century of conflict between Colombia and FARC. More than 220,000 were killed in the fighting and some six million were displaced. Before being finalized, the peace deal must be approved by popular vote through a plebiscite that is expected to be held in October.