The three key words with which Lavazza Foundation helps communities that produce coffee

The complexity of the modern world, according to Giuseppe Lavazza, is completely enclosed by three major parts: the social, the economic and the environmental.

It is a pity that many societies spread all over the world even today do not know how to orient themselves within this contemporary story. Just think of the fact that many of them are neither aware nor aware of the threat posed by climate change. Because they are not sufficiently informed, they repeat lifestyles and unsustainable means of production, and risk being excluded from today’s incessant machinery.

That’s why the company founded Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Onlus in 2004 – he explains: the aim is to help coffee producers around the planet improve their living conditions through the development of independence, autonomy and specificity.

Structures, support, knowledge and funds as needed, different depending on the geographical location of the territory and the past.

«We are a company that has only been producing coffee for 137 years. We are completely dependent on coffee. We like to think that we are ambassadors for coffee around the world. That is why we can not ignore the production and how it happens. We need it to happen according to lively, optimistic parameters, in line with current criteria “, Giuseppe Lavazza explains to Linkiesta.

It currently has 32 projects in 20 countries on 3 continents, benefiting more than 130,000 coffee growers.

Dora is a Guatemalan widow. Her husband and parents were kidnapped and killed at the hands of the armed conflict, they went to fill the ranks of the so-called disappeared. He had to move to Mexico City for fourteen long years to escape the persecution of the then government. She was an assistant to Rigoberta Menchù, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, and accompanied her on her travels up and down America. Today, she works as a social worker with the non-governmental organization Verdad y vida, which deals with the reintegration of women and young people after the recent bloody clashes.

Together with Verdad y, Lavazza Onlus intervened in Guatemala to implement one of the foundation’s most successful programs: thus helping to save local rural communities from poverty, gender discrimination and environmental neglect.

The inclusion of women in all coffee production processes – from sowing to preparation – is primarily a political priority: 80% of cultivation is in the hands of women, but the land is wholly owned by men. Land ownership is historically family-owned and women, as taught by Silvia Federici, a philosopher and academic in gender studies, fall victim to a paradoxical mechanism: they are the ones who guarantee the work, but they cannot enjoy the fruits or profits. They are treated badly by the same system they maintain.

Dora, who is now in Italy as an exponent of the foundation, explains that the project was born primarily to make people, perceived as human beings, aware of their rights.

Rights that also belong to the new generations: in the face of a world that gradually excludes them from professions and the fate of history, Lavazza offers an opportunity for reconciliation and a future, given that in South America the most recurring scenario for a young person is the spiral of drug trafficking.

“We also intervene with technologies that help mitigate the effects of climate change on crops. Coffee tends to insist on areas where the environmental catastrophe persists faster. We therefore try to teach good agricultural practices, increase green areas through reforestation and use of advanced technology. These measures are important not only financially but above all because they improve people’s quality of life, ”adds Lavazza.

In a world where coffee habits have never stopped, on the contrary, they are constantly growing despite the pandemic and the development of the time we live in, spreading it even in places where consumption is less popular becomes a challenge in all respects. . Mainly because it restores the original balance and proportionality that is crucial for environmental, social and civil circularity: Guatemalan coffee, known in the area in antiquity, was sold from the beginning to intermediaries at a very low price.

Now, thanks to Lavazza, the raw material has started to be bought again, and even before that it is grown and produced, to its fair and just value.

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