We are delighted to announce the winners of the 1st Nespresso Sustainability MBA Challenge, an exciting new initiative conceptualized and managed jointly by CIMS, INCAE Business School and Nestle Nespresso.
Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business in Florida (USA) was nominated as winners in this global competition, whose case study topic this year focused on one of the greatest inter-generational challenges facing the sector: “Securing the long-term sustainable future of coffee supply in Colombia”.
The Challenge generated a great deal of interest from global MBA schools across the world. 32 teams participated from China, India, Europe, the US, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia. Each school first conducted an internal selection process to choose their representative team who then worked on the case study and submitted their proposals.
The academic case study on Colombia was prepared and written by CIMS and INCAE, based on their extensive knowledge and research in the sector.
We recruited world-class business and sustainability academics to judge the proposals. Two preliminary rounds of evaluation were conducted by a panel of judges that included experts from INCAE, and other global experts from schools such as Jean-Marc Duvoisin, Guillaume Le Cunff, Dominique Turpin, Vijay Sathe, Gregory Unruh, Andrew Seidl, Ioannis Ioannou, Henry-Claude de Bettignies and Luis Fernando Samper. The three finalist teams were Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management, University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business, Canada, and Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, USA.
Each team presented its solution during the final event at Nespresso headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 27th 2013 in front of the panel of experts in sustainability and Nespresso senior executives.
The winning team convinced the jury with their “Grow Forward” strategy, a multi-tiered approach to attract and retain the next generation of Colombians as coffee farmers by ensuring that coffee farming is a profitable and sustainable economic activity not only in the short term, but for the next 25 years. One key proposition focused on diversifying farmer income in order to provide an additional revenue source during ‘lean times’ for coffee farming.
The students’ prize includes a trip to Colombia to ‘ground’ their proposal in local reality by meeting key local stakeholders - including coffee farmers, the FNC and other local partners.
Nestlé Nespresso and CIMS/INCAE have been working together since 2006 on projects aimed at improving the sustainability of Nespresso’s coffee supply chain. Seminal work includes the Real Farmer Income (RFI) study, coffee pricing studies, farm investment models, carbon footprint and assessment of biodiversity impacts at farm level.
Nespresso is keen to repeat this highly successful annual Sustainability MBA Challenge with its academic partners as a way to further deepen the dialogue with sustainability leaders in the academic community and solicit creative solutions to its supply chain challenges from the next generation of business leaders. Watch out for information on our next Challenge 2014!
“There are few companies that are willing to open up their supply chains for close scrutiny by students and academic experts. Nespresso is one of them. And with an inter-generational challenge such as the one they face on the coffee farms, what better way to bring in fresh ideas than to invite the next generation to help with the thinking,” said Liza Lort-Phillips, Executive Director, Sustainable Markets Intelligence Center (CIMS).
“In its search for sustainability Nespresso – through its MBA Challenge – offers a great opportunity to reveal the creative talents, entrepreneurial drive and multicultural teamwork capacity of MBA students who produce thoughtful and very valuable proposals. A great initiative!” said Henri-Claude de BETTIGNIES, Emeritus Professor, INSEAD
“The Nespresso MBA Challenge offers a great opportunity for young talented MBA teams to provide concrete and practical recommendations to solving real world issues in the world of coffee. Nespresso is genuine in paying great attention to the suggestions of the MBA Teams and is looking for the creative solutions that will make real positive contributions to the stakeholders involved from the coffee beans to the coffee cup”, said Dominique Turpin, President of IMD
'The logic of the Challenge is to engage students on critical issues for Nespresso. Students bring fresh eyes, and the younger generation´s perspective. Because of where they are in their careers, the long-term view is all within their time horizon -- it creates a very different look and dynamic." said Lawrence Pratt, Executive Director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS)
INCAE is a private, non-profit, multinational, higher education organization devoted to teaching and research endeavours in the fields of business and economics. Based in Costa Rica, it is devoted to managerial training, from a global perspective, of individuals capable of successfully holding top management positions in Latin America. With more than 45 years of experience in Latin America, INCAE Business School has graduated 54 full-time MBA programs and 37 Executive MBA programs.
Nestlé Nespresso S.A is the pioneer and reference for highest-quality portioned premium coffee. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nespresso operates in almost 60 countries and has more than 8000 employees. In 2012, it operated a global retail network of 300 exclusive boutiques.
Launched in 2003, the Nespresso AAA Program was developed in cooperation with the Rainforest Alliance. The program is a unique approach that combines a focus on quality and sustainability to drive improvements in social, environmental and economic conditions for coffee farmers and farming communities. 2013 marks 10 years of cooperation between the Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso on the Program, which has grown exponentially to encompass over 52,000 farmers today.
Through work with partners on the ground, Nespresso is providing farmers with support, training, financing and technical assistance to improve sustainability and productivity while maintaining quality. Nespresso pays premiums for quality, to fund technical assistance programmes and to incentivise farmers to adopt and implement AAA required best practices. The company is also co-investing in coffee growing projects and infrastructure to improve production processes, increase yields and optimise production costs.