Several years ago, Eduardo Camarena thought he had lost everything. He no longer had a job, was going through a divorce, and had to move away from his children. He got so low that "even the sun couldn’t warm me".
Shortly afterwards, his grandfather passed away.
But Eduardo had one thing left to cling on to. A promise made to his grandfather that he would look after the family’s coffee plantation and make it successful.
Today, Eduardo runs a thriving coffee farm, is helping raise his children, and is a source of help and advice to other farmers in the region.
How did he turn things around?
Respect for our farmers
By joining the Nescafé Plan, which over the last decade has helped give farmers like Eduardo across the world the support they need to grow more and better coffee, and to do so sustainably, with benefits for the communities where they live.
On International Coffee Day 2018, Nescafé has launched Grown Respectfully to express how it works respectfully to deliver great-tasting coffee, by supporting coffee farmers, their communities and the planet through the Plan.
"It was the best decision I could have made in my life," Eduardo says of his decision to join the Nescafé Plan.
But before he did so, there was no telling if his coffee plantation would survive. The plants weren’t growing as they should, and his region was hit by drought. He often thought that he’d have to give it all up.
Through the Nescafé Plan, Eduardo was one beneficiary from the distribution of 29 million high-yielding, disease-resistant coffee plantlets to farmers in Mexico. This allowed farmers to renovate their plantations, improve quality and increase productivity levels on plantations by up to 81%.
He was also one of 390 coffee farmers who took part in a course run by Nescafé and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, which gave them knowledge, help and advice on running their businesses.
Eduardo returned to his coffee estate eager to apply his new knowledge, on everything from improving the coffee crop to improving farm economics.
Respect for our communities
If Eduardo’s experience reflects Grown Respectfully by showing how farmers can benefit from the Nescafé Plan, its positive community impact is also evident across our 17 countries where the Plan is active.
For example, in Kenya, 6,000 women have benefited from a Women’s Empowerment Program, with some promoted to leadership roles in cooperatives as a result. A Nescafé partnership with another coffee brand, Zoegas, provided over 300 coffee farming families with better access to safe drinking water.
In India, Nescafé provided access to free medical diagnoses and care for more than 1300 farmers, farm workers and their family members. And in Vietnam, Nescafé enabled its farmers to increase their incomes by 30% by adopting better agronomic practices.
Respect for our planet
Under the Plan, Nescafé is also ensuring that, while growing better coffee, farmers are applying new techniques to protect and conserve natural resources for future generations.
In Colombia, for example, Nescafé has worked closely with over 2600 coffee farmers to ensure more efficient use of water, wastewater treatment and reforestation. It has also run training activities to raise community awareness on sustainable water use.
The brand has also protected more than 200 natural water springs on coffee farms in Brazil, planted 70,000 native trees and installed nearly 100 wastewater-cleaning systems on farms, to avoid contaminating rivers and streams.
All these local actions support Nescafé’s 2020 public objectives, which include – responsible sourcing for 70% of all Nescafé coffee, distributing 220 million coffee plantlets, better coffee economics and labour rights, and sustainable factory operations.
Grown Respectfully reflects how Nescafé contributes to Nestlé’s broader company purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future – for individuals and families, for our communities and for the planet.
I became a better human being, a better parent. Now I can be close to my children, to raise them, and, most importantly, I can keep the promise I made to my grandfather.Eduardo Camarena, Coffee farmer
Farmers like Eduardo have benefited from the Nescafé Plan through being able to grow better crops, manage their finances effectively and to help other farmers. These things have helped inspire his own, personal transformation.
"I became a better human being, a better parent," Eduardo says. "Now I can be close to my children, to raise them, and, most importantly, I can keep the promise I made to my grandfather."