Lavazza Group Carries Forward its Commitment to Earth with Major Reforestation Projects in Ethiopia and Peru

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India, April 22, 2020: ON the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Lavazza Group is showcasing some of the most significant sustainability projects that its Foundation is developing in the field of reforestation, a central issue in the lives of every species on this planet, given the global necessity for urgent action by all parties involved, and first and foremost, those like Lavazza whose core business, coffee, is rooted in the land.

The Lavazza Foundation supports and funds, both independently and in collaboration with public and private organizations, 24 projects in 17 countries across three continents in favour of over 97,000 coffee growers. In the last few years, it has stepped up its development of, among other things, projects in support of reforestation, a growing issue in all coffee-producing countries.

In partnership with non-government organisations and internationally recognised institutions, the Lavazza Foundation is active on this front in Ethiopia and Peru with agricultural initiatives and in Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Colombia with sustainability projects, which also include reforestation.

Through these activities, the Lavazza Foundation has made it possible to plant over 15 million coffee bushes in the last five years.

Projects currently underway are organized in various phases, mostly within a 3-year time frame, and designed to have a long-term beneficial impact on both the environment and the socio-economic conditions of rural communities. The projects are also tailored to specific local needs in each territory.

Zero Deforestation Coffee in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee producer, the Lavazza Foundation is supporting a three-year project launched in 2019 to revive production of zero-deforestation coffee in UNESCO’s Yayu Biosphere Reserve in the region of Oromia. The project is being run in partnership with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation and the International Climate Initiative of the German Environment Ministry.

Its aim is to develop, test and promote a scalable garden coffee farming model to help improve the socio-economic situation of 3,000 coffee farming families, slow the advance of deforestation and contribute to the protection of forests and the restoration of the forest landscape, thereby absorbing CO2. 29,000 bushes were planted in 2018 alone. The garden coffee plantation model blocks the advance of deforestation by fostering a spirit of enterprise among small producers. Garden coffee farms spring up near people’s homes, in the transition areas between built-up zones and the forest and entail the planting of fruit trees to create the shade required by coffee bushes. In this way, farmers will not only have land suitable for growing coffee but become producers of other fruits too, thus boosting their incomes.

Short-term objectives include training for over 2,000 coffee producers on farming practices that ensure greater resilience to climate change and the safeguarding of forestry assets.

Brazil Nuts in Peru: A Resource for Local Communities and a Breather for the Planet 

In Peru, the Lavazza Foundation has decided to support CESVI, an NGO that has been running projects in the heart of the Amazon forest for over 20 years.

Supported by the Foundation and managed by CESVI together with the Peruvian Environment Ministry and local and native communities, the project has enabled the preservation of 36,000 hectares of Amazon rainforest, in a zone that was the victim of fires last year, as well as of deforestation.

The two protagonists in the project supported by the Lavazza Foundation are the local native population and a plant with some incredible properties, the Brazil nut.

The main objectives are to:

  1. Enable native communities to exercise direct control and thus become guardians of the forest;
  2. Plant new Brazil nut trees in already degraded areas of the forest and assign them to local native communities as a new source of income. The Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) is a highly precious resource for the environment: it can grow as tall as 50 metres, live for up to 700 years and store around 64,000 kg of CO2 in its lifetime.

The project has a significant social mission, in that it promotes the harvesting, processing and sale of natural local products such as the Brazil nut and the planting of fruit trees that are a source of both food and income for the native communities. The next phases of the project will focus on safeguarding the zones concerned.