Nestle’s Nescafé Coffee Centre, Yunnan, China
Nescafe Coffee Centre (NCC) is a new research and development centre opened in Pu'er Industrial Park in Yunnan province, China, in March 2016.
The Chinese subsidiary of Swiss food and beverage company Nestle, Nestle China invested RMB50m ($7.68m) for the development of the new coffee centre.
In 2013, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the local government of Pu'er for the construction of NCC, which includes a coffee farming institute and a consumer experience centre. Construction on the facility was initiated in March 2015.
Claimed to be the biggest of its kind in China, the coffee centre is equipped with research, processing and training facilities. It will enhance the abilities of the local coffee farmers and practitioners through training, as well as offer technical support to further strengthen and promote the development of Pu'er coffee industry.
The project is a part of Nestle's Creating Shared Value initiative, which was launched in 2010 for rural development and responsible coffee sourcing. The programme plans to invest RMB2.6bn ($400m) across the world towards coffee projects by 2020.
Facilities in Nestle's Coffee Centre
The coffee centre covers an area of 30,000m² with two divisions. The first division houses a training centre and a green coffee bean laboratory. The second part has a quality control lab and a modern warehousing facility. The infrastructure is designed to support the rapidly expanding coffee production in the region.
The training centre provides development sessions to farmers, agronomists and industry professionals in improved coffee growing techniques.
The quality control lab provides various coffee processing facilities, using which the purchasing and testing criteria for coffee beans are set based on international standards. The criteria help ensure efficient coffee bean purchasing.
Nestle's tie-up with Yunnan Agricultural University
Nestle has entered into a strategic co-operation agreement with the College of Tropical Crops at Yunnan Agricultural University with an objective to jointly promote the development of China's coffee industry through efficient training to local farmers.
The alliance results in mutual benefit as it enables both parties to build their capacity, share knowledge and information and develop a talent pool with solid theoretical base and practical experience. They work together on personnel training and development, technological innovation, information and knowledge sharing, and project and research collaboration.
Objectives of the NCC in Yunnan
With roughly 30 years in development, Yunnan's coffee industry, especially Puer, which is known as the Coffee Capital of China, has been a leading industry. The NCC is constructed to further promote it in the future.
2016 is the first year of the 13th Five-Year Plan in which green eco-agriculture has been set as one of the priorities for national development. Building and promoting agricultural modernisation, accelerating transformation of agricultural development patterns and promoting modern agricultural practices have been considered as right steps under the plan.
The NCC is expected to offer a new and larger platform for industry growth, promote the value chain quality and efficiency from farming to distribution, further improve industry integration, and promote Puer coffee's competitiveness and its reputation on global market.
Marketing commentary on Nestle in Yunnan Province
Nestle initiated its operations in Pu'er approximately 25 years ago, considering its cool temperate climate as an ideal environment for the cultivation of coffee. The move has helped not only to procure raw material for coffee production, but also for the development of local communities to make a significant contribution.
Since its inception, the company has sent six foreign coffee professionals to Pu'er to provide training in field management, processing technology and best practice to more than 15,000 farmers in Pu'er. The training helped improve the local farmers' production capacity, livelihood and international competitiveness.