Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fairtrade International, and Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso have announced a new, long-reaching partnership to benefit thousands of small-scale coffee farmers. The announcement comes as Nespresso celebrates ten years of their Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, focused on improving quality and sustainability for farmers and their communities.

Nespresso has committed to source a growing proportion of its coffee from Fairtrade certified cooperatives, a partnership that will provide thousands of smallholder coffee farmers with even greater income security, as well as better supporting the development of strong, representative farmer organizations. These organizations are an essential building block of economic, social and environmental development. As part of the initiative, Nespresso will market coffee from the AAA farmer cooperatives in the region of Caldas, Colombia, and certified Fairtrade.

As part of the program, Nespresso and Fairtrade will look to introduce social welfare provisions to benefit farmers and their families, including health and accident coverage and retirement planning.

“Nespresso’s partnership with Fairtrade is great news for coffee farmers. This encourages the kind of development that not only helps whole communities; it further emphasizes the fundamental necessity of ensuring that quality of life of farmers is on a par with the quality of coffee they’re producing,” says Lamb.

Nespresso will begin by purchasing Fairtrade coffee from farmers in Caldas, Colombia. Nespresso already sources from five Fairtrade certified cooperatives in the region under the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. These cooperatives, comprising 7,000 small-scale farmers, were the first to join the Nespresso AAA Program in 2004.

Earlier this year, Fairtrade International announced that farmers from Africa, Asia and South America are to have an equal say in running the global Fairtrade movement for the first time. In a groundbreaking move, producers of tea, coffee, bananas and other goods had half the votes at Fairtrade International’s annual General Assembly in Germany on 12 June 2013.