NESPRESSO, a coffee company wholly-owned by Nestlé, is set to launch its first Zimbabwean coffee in 15 countries in May this year, a company official has said.

Nestlé Zimbabwe last year launched a five-year programme worth US$1,2 million.

About 450 farmers benefitted from the project, through training in Honde Valley meant to help improve the quality and yield of the 2019 harvest.

Nestlé bought 95% of all the high-quality coffee produced by the Zimbabwean smallholder coffee farmers.

In emailed responses to businessdigest’s enquiries, Nestlé MD Ben Ndiaye said the coffee, prepared and packaged in Switzerland, will revive the coffee industry which has seen a decline in production due to the economic situation in the country.

“Right now, that coffee is being roasted, blended and packaged at Nespresso’s production facilities in Switzerland. The coffee will be launched in some 15 countries in May this year. We are excited to be bringing Zimbabwean coffee back to the international market,” he said.

Coffee production had stopped in the wake of Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform that crippled production.

Zimbabwe boasts some of the richest coffee belts due to favourable climatic conditions. The country produces 15 000 tonnes of coffee.

Ndiaye said the company, like many other firms in the country, was failing to meet local demand and exports due to the prevailing current economic situation in the country.

He said this was notwithstanding the fact that the multinational has the potential and capacity to export into the region and generate forex. However, they managed to collaborate with relevant key partners to get adequate support and they hope to increase production, including for exports.

Nestlé is hoping that Nespresso coffee will be able to generate foreign currency, improving the business prospects of farmers and contributing to economic development.Source – the independent