Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it’s the Big Guys!

Week 1 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders

Nespresso, not everything to everyone, but they are a fascinating leader in the field of coffee production, sustainability and above all marketing!

My husband’s birthday was quickly approaching and I had decided that his gift would be a coffee maker.  I had done some shopping around in my local neighborhood and was  narrowing in on a sleek machine with award winning design (Scandinavian design that is!).  With only three days to go before the big day, I was beginning to panic because I had not bought the machine yet.  Out of the blue, a girlfriend calls and invites me  to go shopping and out to lunch. Of course I couldn’t say no!Her number one priority was to go by the Nespresso shop and buy more coffee cartridges for her coffee machine.

We walked into the Nespresso store and Wow! What a concept!  This shop is an ideal example of a company that has perfected the science of  marketing.  (Do they have a Nespresso shop in your neighborhood??? If so, go check it out!) I actually think that I’ve heard that marketing/sales people make the easiest sells.  When it comes to a product that I am interested in and the company is good at marketing- I am a sucker!  Of course I decided that THIS was the coffee machine that I would buy for my husband’s birthday present after my visit to the shop!  Sleek design, welcome bundle, all the bells and whistles!

As I am contemplating my acquisition,  I realized that  you  not only buy a coffee maker but you invest in a supplier of coffee as well!  But before I confirm the purchase, I had to step up and ask my advocacy question: Does Nespresso sell FAIR TRADE COFFEE???  I swallowed hard and waited for the cashier to stop starring at me like a deer in headlights.  She asked me what I meant by Fair Trade and  I thought, “Oh man, I knew it was too good to be true!” She quickly registered my disappointment and called for assistance. Two other sales assistance came to her rescue and started volunteering information about the  partnership between Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program and Rainforest Alliance.

I had to stop them and ask how these programs actually affected the people working in the fields and their conditions. At that time both of the new sales assistants began to explain the AAA Sustainable Quality program which I felt like was a good approach to growing the coffee and replenishing the environment, helping to educate the local coffee farmers of South America in business practices and investing and upgrading production facilities. You can read more about the Nespresso  Ecolaboration.

AAA Nespresso

“By 2013, we aim to source 80% of our coffee through our Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™
Program. This means that we will be working with 80,000 farmers in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Costa
Rica, Guatemala and two new countries – Nicaragua and India.”

Nespresso AAA coffee

So just remember, before you purchase, you can ask, “Is this product participating in a Fair Trade program?”

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