Coffee dominates both my mornings and mid afternoons. I’m not sure how many other people feel the same but at a guess, there’s a lot. Mornings are marked by the wake up call coffee brings. The ritual of the coffee shop run, the people you see and the moments you take to sip it. After years of endless commitment to this ritual I’ve found myself wanting to take more responsibility for the coffee I’m consuming. My local store has upped it’s game and tripled the organic and responsibly stocked section to take over an entire aisle and I’ve found myself picking up the fair-trade, grown by women only coffees on offer. I’ll happy pay a little extra to do my bit where I can and given the options on offer I don’t think I’m the only one.
So having recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Lavazza, one of Italy’s leading home grown and family run brands (they’re in their sixth generation, with the company spanning over one hundred and twenty years) I naturally jumped at the chance. Lavazza not only produces coffee but has a longstanding twenty year relationship with Slow Food. Their huge involvement and partnership with people equally as passionate about the earth, sustainability, ethical production and farming makes for a interesting and important collaboration. Back in 1996 when the very first Solone del Gusto launched in Turin, Lavazza firmly supported and sponsored the event which witnesses some of the finest and most specialist producers come together. It’s here they celebrate and share everything they’ve grown, farmed and ethically produced. Imagine endless market stalls packed with independent producers of everything from tomatoes, cheese, truffles, onions, salami and wine… the list goes on.
Turin, once the capital of Italy is where Lavazza was born amidst the huge coffee culture so engrained in Italian lifestyle. Here lies their enormous head quarters, currently being upgraded to give a little something back to the local community. It will house new restaurants, a museum and also the Design University the city prides itself on.
Lavazza has always paid special attention to innovation, ethics and sustainability. One of the campaigns run by the Lavazza Foundation (set up in 2002) is the ¡Tierra! Project. In collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, the project aims at producing the highest quality end product and focuses on the living conditions of people in the coffee growing countries. The aim of this project is to use modern day research and knowhow in conjunction with traditional farming, working with people that live and breathe the land making for the ultimate end result, amazing coffee. With climate change becoming an ever more important issue techniques and approaches to farming adjusted and smaller, locally run farms are being supported as well.
This year Slow Food and Lavazza have collaborated on a calendarwhich aims to raise awareness of the ‘Earth Defenders’ ‘modern heroes committed to feeding the planet in a fair and sustainable manner.’ This will be the third and final installment of the ‘Earth Defenders, We are What We Live’ project. Having collaborated with revered photographers Steve McCurry, Joey L and Denis Rouvre and covering three continents for the project; Africa, South America and Asia, each photographer transports you deep into the depths of incredible rural landscapes capturing moments of nature, sheer beauty and people in situ living and working the lands.
A few must visits if you happen to get booked and explore the city for yourself are
Caffe Fiorio, Baratti & Milano, Caffe Mulassano & Caffe Torino, Eataly
My daily coffee ritual will no longer be quite so pedestrian and my decision on which coffee I pick up will even more so be governed by my appreciate for Slow Food and all that it stands for.