The Lavazza Group is driven by a profound sense of responsibility towards the communities in which it operates: from those consisting of coffee-producers, to those supported by the various companies within the Group in their respective countries.
For this reason, a wide-ranging programme of activities has been established to engage these communities, with the aim of creating shared value and generating a positive impact in the social, economic and environmental spheres.
Coffee is a product of the land, and the farmers who grow it represent the cornerstone of the supply chain, which starts with the coffee bean and culminates in the espresso cup. For this reason, the Group recognises the vital importance of coffee-producing comunities, to which it has dedicated a series of projects for the promotion of socioeconomic growth through sustainable farming. With the firm belief that coffee-growing represents a development platform, as well as a means to build a new, more balanced relationship with the environment.
The Lavazza Foundation
In the years since its establishment in 2004, the non-profit Giuseppe e Pericle Lavazza Foundation has organised 30 projects in 19 countries and 3 continents, the benefits of which are felt by over 100.000 coffee-growers. One aim shared by all of the programmes is the development of sustainable entrepreneurship, to bring about an improvement in the living conditions of the entire community.
The Foundation supports the autonomy of local communities by emphasising the value of female workers involving the younger generations. It encourages good agricultural practices in order to improve crop yields and coffee quality, and promotes the introduction of technological tools as a means to counter the effects of climate change.
The projects also encourage the diversification of production, in order to avoid soil impoverishment, and reforestation, to help preserve the ecosystem. The management of these activities is entrusted to local operators, such as agronomists, trainers and institutions, to make it easier to engage the coffee-producing communities and build relationships of trust with everyone involved.
This is a Lavazza-brand project was founded in 2002 with the aim of supporting the social and economic development of local communities, promoting good agricultural practices on coffee plantations. Initially active in small farming communities in Colombia, Honduras and Peru, over the years ¡Tierra! has expanded to an additional 17 countries, individually involving the farmers and their families.
What’s more, in certain areas it has become possible to produce high-quality washed Arabica blends destined for ¡Tierra! . This coffee comes from 100% sustainable agriculture certified by the NGO Rainforest Alliance, an international organisation that promotes the use of agricultural practices to safeguard the environment, and guarantees dignified living conditions for farmers.
The variety produced in Colombia is one example of the impact that this programme has had on local communities; containing, as it does, coffee from the Meta region at the foot of the Andes. Here, coffee-growing had been abandoned for years as a result of internal armed conflict. That was before ¡Tierra! helped over one hundred farming families restore their plantations using sustainable techniques, to give the communities greater economic security and autonomy.
Coffee&Climate is a technical panel in which Giuseppe Lavazza is co-chair. It is comprised of sector companies and governmental agencies for developmental cooperation, and aims to tackle the challenges that climate change poses for the sector. In this undertaking it is supported by International Coffee Partners (ICP), an association that unites the major coffee-producing and trading companies, of which Lavazza is a founding member.
Coffee&Climate’s objective is to identify concrete solutions to help farmers preserve their crops and the quality thereof, as well as developing sustainability programmes to improve social, economic and environmental conditions for coffee-growing communities. To date, over 84,000 families have been involved in this programme, with a target of over 130,000 to be reached by 2023.
The Group’s efforts to support communities also include the training programme, A Cup of Learning, dedicated to young people searching for job opportunities in the world of coffee, particularly those coming from disadvantaged social groups. A Cup of Learning offers two different courses: one dedicated to green coffee, with a focus on the sensory analysis of coffee, processing techniques, and tasting and evaluating products based on their origins; the other, meanwhile, is dedicated to espresso coffee, concentrating on the theory and practice of “Being a Barista”.
Lavazza’s professionals are involved in a hands-on capacity, making their experience available to others through training courses held directly in coffee-producing countries or at the Training Center in Turin. As of 2017, 120 individuals have benefited from this initiative, acquiring the needed skills to join the work force in 10 countries: Italy, the Dominican Republic, India, Albania, Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Peru and the United Kingdom.
Relationships with suppliers are built on Lavazza’s founding values: Authenticity, Passion for excellence, Responsibility and Inventiveness. These represent the essence of Lavazza’s Code of Ethics which, along with the Supplier Code of Conduct and the Employee Code of Conduct, embodies the principles to which all of our brands aspire. In addition to these, Lavazza adheres to the ten principles of the United Nations’ Global Compact, which promote respect for human rights and workers and, specifically, reject all forms of forced labour and child labour, while at the same time promoting environmental protection.
Furthermore, in 2017, Lavazza decided to strengthen its long-standing partnership with Save the Children — dating back to the early 2000s — by adhering to the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, the guidelines that promote respect and support for children’s rights through conduct of daily business activities.
What are you doing?
In order to spread the culture of sustainability, Lavazza has chosen to use a variety of visual languages, raising awareness and boosting the engagement of the communities with which it works directly.
Among the most important of these projects, TOward 2030. What are you doing? stands out. This collaboration with the City of Turin consisted of the production of works of street art inspired by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
These murals, created by international artists at strategic locations throughout the city, were designed to provoke debate and engage citizens — particularly young people — through the communicative power of art, starting with the title of the project itself.
The question What are you doing? acts as a challenge and a reminder that the task of safeguarding the Planet is up to every single person. As a result, Turin became the first city to act as an ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals, an example of best practices replicable on an international level.