September 6, 2018 / 1:34 PM / 18 days ago

Nestle to buy coffee from Zimbabwe in development push

ZURICH (Reuters) - Nestle’s Nespresso arm expects to buy nearly all of Zimbabwe’s top-end coffee crop from small farmers this growing season and will help the beleaguered local industry get back on its feet, the Swiss group said on Thursday.

A Nespresso logo is pictured on a coffee factory at Nestle in Orbe, Switzerland May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

“Nespresso expects to buy more than 95 percent of the high quality coffee production of Zimbabwean smallholders this season. The coffee will be available to global consumers in 2019,” it said in a statement.

Nespresso is also working with farmers for the next harvest, when volumes are set to increase.

“Zimbabwe’s coffee sector is in danger of disappearing as the result of a sharp decline in production over the past 18 years, following a series of economic shocks affecting many of Zimbabwe’s agricultural industries,” the company said.

The country is undergoing a political transition following former leader Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

Nespresso will provide training and technical assistance to 400 smallholder coffee farmers over the next five years in a campaign to boost the country’s output of quality sustainable coffee.

It was working with TechnoServe, a non-profit organization that promotes business solutions to alleviate poverty.

Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Jason Neely

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