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Nestlé and Sucafina join forces to sustainably improve farm economics and promote the inclusion of more women and youth in the coffee value chain in Rwanda

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May 21, 2019
Nestlé and Sucafina – a leading sustainable “Farm to Roaster” coffee company, today announced the launch of the second phase of the Nescafé Plan project in Rwanda, Coffee by Women, which will be carried out for the next three years. The program aims at improving the livelihoods and resilience of small-scale coffee producers across Rwanda focusing particularly on the social-economic inclusion of women and youth.

Hans Nilsson, Marketing Manager Zoégas (Nestlé) said, “At Nestlé, we believe that business results and positive societal impact should be mutually reinforcing. To be successful in the long term, we must create value for both our shareholders and for society. We call this approach to business Creating Shared Value and it is an integral part of our strategy.”

The Nescafé Plan – Zoégas Coffee by Women, is a global initiative in the coffee sector for farmers, communities and our planet that aims to continuously support responsible and increasingly sustainable value chains.

The project – co-funded jointly by Zoégas (Nestlé) and Sucafina SA, will be implemented by Kahawatu Foundation, under the umbrella of Rwacof Exports Ltd – Sucafina’s subsidiary in Rwanda. The second phase of the program, which runs from 2019 to 2021, will see Zoégas purchase responsible coffee directly from Rwacof through Sucafina. As part of the program, farmers will receive, continuous training and technical support and will be certified to a validated international sustainability standard.

Max Veglio, Managing Director for Rwacof Exports Ltd said “At Sucafina, we operate at every level of the worldwide coffee supply chain. We have been processing and exporting coffee in Rwanda since 1996 and have amassed extensive knowledge of the internal and export markets with a worldwide network of buyers. This second phase of the Nescafé Plan – Coffee by women, follows on the successes of our first phase in the region.”

The project will target 6,000 households around five western coffee washing stations (CWS) of Rwacof namely Musasa, Mushonyi, Nyamyumba, Rwinyoni, and Ngororero.

“This collaboration will have a special emphasis on the inclusion of women and youth which was particularly successful in the initial phase,” said Max Veglio adding that the youth segment made up 23% of registered farmers in the first phase.

Women play a significant role in coffee farming activities, as well as their critical contribution to families and communities, but they frequently do not have the same opportunities to receive training or to take on leading organizational roles. The project supports gender equality and women empowerment with a tailored program to increase the household incomes, strengthen financial management, and develop communication and influencing skills, helping some of them to assume leading community roles. Other topics will also be addressed such as food security and nutrition, health, hygiene and Sanitation, HIV/AIDS and Family Planning.

“Our consumers ask for responsibly sourced high-quality coffee and the taste profile from Eastern Africa is very popular. To ensure higher coffee standards in the future we need the commitment of everyone in the value chain. By involving women and youth and through education, we do not only secure coffee for the future, but can also make an impact for the coffee growers’ families and communities”, said Hans Nilsson, Marketing Manager Zoégas (Nestlé).

Coffee is still a major source of livelihood for thousands of Rwandese smallholder farmers and this partnership aims to have a higher inclusion of women and youth, improved economics of coffee farming, improved livelihood and living standards and thus improved household resilience.

The joint project will also contribute significantly to 9 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
    • SDG 1: Ending poverty
    • SDG 2: Ending hunger
    • SDG 3: Good health and well-being
    • SDG 5: Gender equality
    • SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
    • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
    • SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
    • SGD 15: Sustainable use of natural resources
    • SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

About Sucafina Group

Sucafina is a leading sustainable “Farm to Roaster” coffee company, with a family tradition in commodities that stretches back to 1905. Today, with more than 850 employees in 28 countries, the Group is a leading player in the world of green, roasted, instant coffee merchanting. With its main trading arm based in Geneva, Sucafina sources coffee from most producing countries, often directly from farmers, to provide its partners with sustainable value across the global supply chain. Learn more at

About Nestlé

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. The company’s performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago. It is present in 189 countries around the world and employs 323,000 people worldwide. Its more than 2,000 brands ranging from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favourites like MILO.

About Zoégas

Zoégas was founded in Helsingborg Sweden in 1886 by Carlos and Maria Zoéga and is the leading brand within dark roasted coffee in Sweden. Zoégas is a Nestlé brand since 1986, and has a great passion for sustainable produced coffee, now and for the future. Zoégas coffee is roasted and composed to specific taste blends by high quality Arabica beans with focus on beans from East Africa. For a more tasteful experience.

Kahawatu Foundation

Kahawatu Foundation is a not-for-profit organization registered in Switzerland and responsible for implementing sustainability projects on behalf of Sucafina SA. The Foundation was established in 2012 with a mission to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers in East Africa – who depend on coffee as their main source of income - and to address subsequent socio-economic consequences. Learn more at:
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