A new initiative, the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, has been launched by Slow Food in collaboration with the Lavazza Group.

Slow Food has been partnering with Lavazza since the mid-1990s, sharing ideas and projects. This latest venture is intended to unite all the participants in the coffee supply chain, from growers to roasters to distributors to consumers, united by a love for the beverage and a desire for good, clean and fair coffee for all.

The network is based on a new model for relationships, inspired by the values of cooperation and based on the evolution of paradigms of production and consumption. It was launched in Turin on World Earth Day with the objective of improving the relationship between farmers and consumers, strengthening the first and most fragile link in the chain and promoting a better understanding of coffee and its identity among those who buy it on a daily basis.

“This coalition is a real response to the crisis that we are living through and which loudly demands a major change,” commented Carlo Petrini, Slow Food’s president. “It is a concrete example of ecological transition, and as such it requires the conscious involvement of everyone involved, from those who care for the coffee plants to those who savour coffee in the cup. We need to shift from a society based on competition to one based on collaboration, and this chain that dialogs at all levels will be able to represent that perfectly. In order for a real ecological transition to take place, it is necessary to create awareness and generate shared knowledge within this community. For this, it is essential to prepare ourselves to tackle the challenges of the future with tools like alliances, unions and collaboration,” continued Mr Petrini.

Giuseppe Lavazza, vice-president of the Lavazza Group, described how Slow Food and Lavazza will work together: “In the founding concept of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition there is an assumption of responsibility and a sharing of rights and duties. All the actors in the world of coffee will be called upon to take part in this challenging and innovative model. It will be an open working group, whose importance will become increasingly evident in a composite supply chain such as that of coffee. The need to construct alliances in the precompetitive sphere to develop knowledge, planning and content is therefore more and more clear.”

The Slow Food Coffee Coalition will be coordinated by Emanuele Dughera. “We are in a moment in which the desire to create links and to cooperate, towards new goals, is emerging stronger than ever,” explained Dughera. “That’s why we need farmers, traders, roasters, baristas, restaurateurs, experts, public institutions, big companies, connoisseurs and ordinary coffee drinkers who are inspired by curiosity and the desire to know more. Only through an open and collaborative dialog can we change the system and improve the coffee production chain, increasing the awareness of those who produce it, those who distribute and those who consume it.”

The Slow Food Coffee Coalition is inviting all participants in the supply and distribution chain who are interested in coffee to sign up to its manifesto. This is a global network that believes in preserving the environment, safeguarding fundamental human and labour rights, transparency and traceability, education and the right to pleasure, and has made these elements the cornerstones of a new path forward. Any one of us can choose to join the coalition, to listen, learn and share, to encourage an exchange of ideas and good practices or to come up with new activities.

“We want to turn the spotlight from the cup to the earth where the coffee grows,” continued Dughera. “This is not just a caffeinated beverage, but an agricultural product that contains a thousand nuances and which can still surprise us. This is why with the Slow Food Coffee Coalition we want to strive to ensure that on one hand the work of growers is recognised, and on the other that consumers can make choices with more awareness.

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