In one of coffee’s oddest pairings, movie star George Clooney is acting as a brand ambassador for Nespresso, the coffee capsule brand of the Switzerland-based Nestlé Group.
A member of the company’s sustainability board, Clooney was recently in Switzerland, voicing his support for a new coffee program in the fledgling country South Sudan, which broke off from Sudan in 2011. Clooney has been an outspoken of the country and its people in their fight for independence.
“There is a real opportunity here,” Clooney said in a press release following a meeting of Nespresso’s new five-member sustainability board, composed of coffee industry giants including Bruce McNamer of TechnoServe, Jean-Marc Duvoisin of Nespresso, Tensie Whelan of the Rainforest Alliance and Harriet Lamb Fairtrade International. “There is only one product coming from South Sudan right now, that’s oil, and the problem of oil is that someone, a company, takes the oil from the ground, beneath the feet of the actual people who put there, put it in a pipeline… and they sell it.”
Nespresso’s investment in South Sudan will be in partnership with TechnoServe, and the company says it has the opportunity to positively affect thousands of smallholder farmers. The company also announced other initiatives in coffee production, all part of a 10-year celebration of its 10-year AAA Sustainable Quality Program. Here’s more straight from Nespresso:
The company said it would extend its AAA Program to smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and Kenya with the aim of doubling the amount of coffee it sources from the two countries to 10,000 tonnes by 2020.
Nespresso will partner with local governments and non-profit organisationTechnoServe to improve coffee sustainability at farm level, while launching social development programmes to support the welfare of farmers, their families and the wider community.
The company also announced plans to revive coffee production in South Sudan through a partnership with TechnoServe that is expected to benefit thousands of smallholder farmers.
In Latin America, Nespresso will build on its existing AAA Program initiatives in Colombia by launching a pilot programme in partnership with Fairtrade International to better support farmers and their families.
The ‘AAA Farmer Future Program’ will introduce welfare provisions, including health and accident insurance and retirement planning.
Nespresso also plans to invest more in an agro-forestry program, in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance and the Pur Project.