Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value Forum: A coffee farmer’s story

Oct 25, 2013

The Nescafé Plan is a 10-year, CHF 350 million global initiative to ensure a long-term supply of quality, sustainably sourced coffee - Nestlé is helping these farmers improve their lives and an example of Creating Shared Value.

The Plan provides expert training so that farmers can grow coffee more sustainably, as well as practical assistance, including high-quality disease-resistant plant lets.

These young and specially developed coffee plants allow farmers to rejuvenate their crops, multiply yields and increase their income.

Coffee farmer César Augusto Garzon Castillo is just one of more than 147,000 farmers in ten countries taking part in the Nescafé Plan.

A life in coffee

His farm, Agua Bonita – Beautiful Water – is located in Sevilla, one of seven municipalities in the region of Valle del Cauca where the Nescafé Plan was launched.

"My name is César Augusto Garzon Castillo. I'm 42 years old and I've been in coffee for over 15 years.

"I live with my wife, Rosa Elena Morales, and our two children - César, who is 15 and Lucas, 13.

"I've been involved with the Nescafé Plan since 2011. I found out about the Nescafé Plan from a liaison officer with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation who explained how the Plan works.

Two harvests

"That's how I got the seedlings, plantlets and fertilizer. The plantlets that Nestlé gives us are very good. They've helped us save both time and money.

"Our farm, Finca Agua Bonita, is in Valle del Cauca, about 400 kilometres south of the Colombian capital, Bogotà.

"Finca Agua Bonita is quite a big farm – we have 18 hectares of coffee plants and about 70,000 coffee trees. In terms of varieties, we grow Castillo, Suprema, Colombia and a little bit of Caturro. The farm provides work for five coffee pickers.

"For many years, I lived with my family on my coffee farm but now I live in the village nearby. I still spend each and every day down at the farm though.

'Optimistic'

"My day starts early - at six in the morning. There is always so much to do! We have to keep both our coffee workers and our coffee plants healthy. We have to fertilise the trees and spray them to control weeds.

"The coffee harvest comes twice a year in Colombia. We have our main harvest between October to December and a second, smaller one in June or July.

"The Nescafé Plan has been a great help. Now I recommend the Nescafé Plan to my fellow coffee growers. And I've told my friends and family who have coffee farms too.

"Since joining the Nescafé Plan I've become more optimistic about the future. There are good times and bad times in coffee but I feel like the good times are coming!"