Nestlé 2015 sustainability report: What you need to know

by JulieCraves on May 2, 2016

Update, April 2024: Shared value is a joke for coffee farmers in Chiapas, Mexico. Promises and assistance by Nestlé have fallen so short of covering costs for these farmers they burned sacks of coffee in the streets.

Nestlé has released their 2015 Creating Shared Value report. The Swiss multinational is one of the largest food companies in the world and produces one of the most correspondingly voluminous CSR reports. I delved into the 2013 report in some detail, and you can refer to that post for context. Here, I will just highlight the most salient reports regarding coffee.

  • Nestlé continues to purchase about 10% of the world’s coffee production. In 2014, those purchases totalled 842,000 metric tons, in 2015 it was 849,000 tons. I track these figures in the table at Corporate coffee: How much is eco-certified?.
  • Of those 849,000 tons, only 56% is traceable back to a farm or plantation (p.115). The company defines that traceability as 4C Verified — compliant with the most rudimentary, baseline standards in the industry. Or to put it another way, over 373,000* tons is NOT traceable to source and may not even meet the most basic standards of ethical human and environmental decency.
  • More astonishing, Nestlé sources about a quarter of their coffee (225,600 tons) directly from 760,000 farmers (p. 100) via their Farmer Connect program (p.117) of which 85% is 4C compliant. That means 15% of their direct-sourced coffee — from known producers they are working with — is not even 4C Verified.
  • 85% of the approximately 55,000 tons of coffee used for Nespresso’s permanent Grand Cru coffee pod selections is sourced under their Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality program (p. 119), about the same percentage as the past 3 years. This is their proprietary program based on Rainforest Alliance standards. Read more here.
  • There is no mention of the volume of organic or other eco-certified coffee purchases. Nestlé doesn’t place value in third-party certification for coffee (see statement below).


At 351 pages, there is much more material in the report, which you can download at their website.

*56% of 849,000 tons = 475,440, although later (p. 118) in the report they say that 482,054 tons represents 56%. The latter would mean they purchased 860,811 tons of coffee, so I used the former figures, as they are given several times in the report.

Revised on April 8, 2024

Posted in Corporate coffee,Nestlé/Nespresso

Previous post:

Next post: