Nespresso to boost sustainable coffee by 2013

NEW YORK Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:39pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nestle Nespresso will source 80 percent of its coffee from farms deemed sustainable by 2013, up from 40 percent by the end of 2009, Chief Executive Richard Girardot said on Monday.

Girardot spoke to Reuters on the phone from Barcelona on the same day that Nespresso, the premium coffee-capsule division of food group Nestle, launched Ecolaboration -- a platform that brings key stakeholders together to focus on sustainability.

"It's not a main growth driver in the short term, it's a main growth driver in the long-term," Girardot told Reuters, referring to its sustainable targets.

Nespresso's sustainable coffee falls under its AAA Sustainable Quality Program that includes beans grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. The focus is on quality while balancing economic, social and environmental outputs.

Customers buy Nespresso's coffee packaged in individual capsules as well as machines, for use at home. The machines shoot hot water through the capsules to brew individual cups of espresso and coffee.

Nespresso will triple its capacity to recycle these used capsules to 75 percent, by 2013, as well as reduce the overall carbon footprint in producing every cup of its coffee, by 20 percent, the company said.

Nespresso estimated that the total carbon dioxide emissions generated from its operations is 82 grams per cup, from the time the beans are cultivated to transported to customers.

The coffee company that places and emphasis on quality, saw its sales double in two years, to reach 2.26 billion Swiss francs ($2.1 billion) in 2008, with double-digit growth expected in 2009.

Only 5 percent of Nespresso's sales are in the Americas, with the majority in Europe.

"(The) Americas, north and south, have clear room to improve and to grow," Girardot said.

The company opened its second Nespresso production center in Avenches, Switzerland, earlier this month.

"Our feeling is we will need a new factory in 2014 or 2015. Where? That will depend clearly on the situation of our sales," Girardot said.

Nespresso sells its coffee and machines direct from its boutique stores, online or on the phone.

The company aims to open a second boutique in New York and one in Miami by the end of this year. It also has a presence in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Canada.

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Marguerita Choy)