Building Resilience

coffee bean grower

Climate change is putting coffee-growing areas under pressure. Smallholder coffee farmers are exposed to irregular weather conditions affecting their crops.

Nestlé announced that it is piloting a weather insurance program in Indonesia for more than 800 smallholder coffee farmers that supply coffee to its brand, Nescafé. The company is launching the insurance scheme in collaboration with Blue Marble, a specialist in climate insurance. The insurance provides financial protection to help farmers cope with unpredictable rainfall and severe drought weather patterns.

Marcelo Burity, Global Head of Nestlé's Green Coffee Development, said this weather insurance helps to establish a support mechanism for smallholder coffee farmers in Indonesia.

"It allows them to access financial resources to re-establish their crops in the event of irregular weather conditions while building resilience in coffee farms," stated Burity.

The insurance uses satellite-based climate data to determine when coffee output has been impacted by too much or insufficient rainfall during key phases of the crop cycle. Payments are issued automatically to registered coffee farmers affected, according to the severity of the weather.

"Smallholder coffee farmers in Indonesia are vulnerable to climate risks and need access to insurance to protect against extreme weather events," said Jaime de Piniés, CEO of Blue Marble.

"We are proud to partner with Nestlé and its brand Nescafé to develop innovative ways to support the climate adaptation of smallholder coffee farmers and their families."

This initiative is integral to the Nescafé Plan 2030, the brand's vision to support coffee's long-term sustainability and help improve farmers' livelihoods. Based on the results of the pilot, Nestlé will determine whether to expand the approach to other Nescafé sourcing locations worldwide.

Changing agricultural practices requires access to knowledge and time to learn and implement. Coffee farmers can help restore soil health, reverse biodiversity loss, and strengthen ecosystems by moving to regenerative agriculture. Doing so also helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

Nestlé has contributed to the 'Regenerative Agriculture for Low-Carbon and Resilient Coffee Farms - A Practical Guidebook,' developed by the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). This guidebook provides field agronomists, trainers and professionals working with coffee farmers with a set of best practices to use and adapt to different farming contexts, helping farmers transition to regenerative agriculture. These best practices include agroforestry, intercropping, soil conservation and cover crops, integrated weed and pest management, integrated nutrient management, efficient water use, waste valorisation, landscape actions and the rejuvenation of coffee trees with well-adapted varieties.

Pascal Chapot, Global Head of Sustainable Agriculture Development at Nestlé, said: "The guidebook gives coffee farmers a set of field actions they can implement tomorrow to help them become more resilient to climate change and diversify their income sources. Knowledge is key, and we hope this guidebook makes these regenerative agriculture practices more accessible to farmers and supports an accelerated transition towards them. This is essential to tackling the climate challenges ahead."

Mirjam Pulleman, senior soil ecologist and co-author of the guidebook, said creating a tangible impact on the ground requires learning from real experiences with farmers of different origins and providing incentives to support farmers in their journey.

"The best practices highlighted in the guidebook are a starting point. Each practice must be tailored to the specificities of each country of origin, the different farm types, the surrounding landscapes and the resources available," said Pulleman.