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Colombian Coffee Growers and Nespresso Commemorate 10-Year Partnership in Quest to Deliver Sustainable Coffee

More Than 600 Farmers and Agronomists From Across Colombia Gathered in Santander Today to Celebrate 10 Years of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality(TM) Program; Nespresso Shared With the Farmers the Global Launch of the Colombian Terroirs Special Limite

SANTANDER, COLOMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/19/14 -- Farmers from seven Colombian coffee-growing regions joined Luis G. Muñoz, CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestle Nespresso, to celebrate in an emotional event commemorating their 10-year commitment to providing the world with sustainable coffees through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program.

The production of AAA Sustainable Quality Coffee, which involves more than 40,000 producers in Antioquia, Caldas, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Nariño and Santander provinces, has been a team effort involving individual farmers, local partners and the FNC. Together, they have implemented a series of initiatives that have allowed producers to climb the value chain and receive extra premiums for their beans.

At the event, Nespresso also announced the winners of its Annual AAA Recognition Program for sustainable quality coffee development. The winning farmer-agronomist team was the producer José Daniel Muñoz Martinez and the extensionist José Vicente Ordoñez from Nariño. Their prize includes a trip to Switzerland later in the year to visit Nespresso Production facilities and meet with Nespresso employees and club members who are fans of their coffee.

With more than 320 boutiques in nearly 60 countries, Nespresso is a pioneer and reference in single-serve high quality coffees. The program's strict standards for economic, social and environmental sustainability result in higher incomes, improving the welfare of producers. The AAA Sustainable Quality Coffee Program is one of the most successful and comprehensive programs of its kind and has been a major focus of the relationship between the Swiss firm and Colombian coffee producers.

More than 65% of coffee growers from around the world participating in Nespresso's global AAA program are located in Colombia. The township of Páramo in Santander, a province that has recently been added to the program, was the location selected for the event. More than 600 producers from seven Colombian departments where production chains known as Nespresso clusters are present attended the celebration.

"Through this celebration we wish to pay tribute to the farmers' work and commitment to grow sustainable coffee. Our program requires permanent and constant access to the best coffee. Colombia produces coffee of the highest quality, has the model and local partners we need to move forward, and the experience to help us remain innovative and develop new products," said Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso.

The importance and growth of Colombia in the AAA Sustainable Quality Program has been strengthened by the shared objectives of Nespresso and the FNC. The coffee grower organization, whose mission is to promote the welfare of farmers, has long made sustainability its primary goal. Colombian coffee sales to Nespresso have increased more than eight times since 2006 and the country is now the largest supplier of Nespresso coffees. Additionally, Colombian coffee can be found in 80% of Nespresso´s "Grands Crus" capsules, the company's most sophisticated line of products.

New line 'ith Colombian Regional Apellations of Origin

Nespresso also shared with the growers the global launch of two new specialty coffee capsules with local denominations of origin from the Colombian regions of Cauca and Santander. This new edition confirms the interest of the most sophisticated industry players in developing the concept of regional denominations of origin; a concept that the FNC has been working on since 2007. Through this strategy, the Federation seeks to create more opportunities for differentiation in the premium segment.

"The launch of 'Terroirs of Colombia' with capsules from the Cauca and Santander origins confirms that we are on the right path -- the path of quality, differentiation and added value," said Luis G. Muñoz, CEO of the FNC.

Meanwhile, Duvoisin praised the work of the producers and their institutions in maintaining the path of quality and differentiation as key elements in the competitiveness of Colombian coffee.

Colombia occupies a privileged place in Nepresso's select portfolio with coffee such as Rosabaya from Cauca and Nariño. Colombian coffee has been featured in several Nespresso special editions including Sandoná and Dhjana. The FNC also collaborated in the development of Naora, a late harvest product made with the Castillo variety produced in Santander and Tolima.

Nespresso AAA in Colombia

Nespresso's AAA Sustainable Quality Program began in Colombia in 2003. The program innovatively combines principles of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) with highest quality production, bean traceability and long-term relationships.

The program has directly benefited more than 40,000 small farmers in Antioquia, Caldas, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Nariño and Santander, and indirectly improved the quality of life of more than 150,000 people.

To date, Colombian coffee growers account for nearly 65% of producers associated with the AAA program around the globe. At the end of 2013, 84% of Nespresso coffee purchases complied with the AAA standards.

In 2012, the Federation and Nespresso signed a memorandum of understanding in which they pledged to invest $85 million over five years (of which Nespresso will fund 10 million annually between 2012 and 2017). The Swiss company's contributions are used to provide farmers with premiums (75%) while the remaining 25% goes to strengthening technical assistance and programs to improve quality, productivity and sustainability on farms and in communities.

The resources provided by Nespresso are complemented by $35 million from the FNC's own investments, producers and other partners in the public and private sectors. All in all, the program has become one of the highest impact projects in terms of sustainability in the Colombian coffee sector.

About the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC)
The FNC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1927 that represents over 500,000 coffee growing families. Considered one of the largest rural organizations in the world, its mission is to improve the well-being and the quality of life of Colombian coffee producers. Under its Sustainability that Matters® programs, the FNC has developed an integral sustainability policy focused on coffee growers that includes productive, social and environmental initiatives. It also develops scientific research, technology transfer and social and industrial processes, supporting Colombian coffee production and commercialization. For more information, please visit:
www.federaciondecafeteros.org - www.cafedecolombia.com

Diana Pardo
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