A year and a half of Slow Food Coffee Coalition

At Terra Madre Salone del Gusto it will be possible to taste the first six coffees resulting from the work carried out in Cuba, Honduras, India, Mexico and Peru and join the global network of coffee good for the environment and for people. producers

Seventeen months, or just under a year and a half, have passed since April 22, 2021, the day of the official launch of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition (SFCC). A good time to take stock, review what has been achieved, plan for the near future and set new and ambitious goals. Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2022, which will take place until September 26 in Turin, offers the perfect venue for this. Today at 3 p.m., the Berta Cáceres Arena, installed in Parco Dora, hosted a conference entitled “Slow Food Coffee Coalition: The Commitment to Good, Clean and Fair and the Example of Cuba”, with the participation of the President of Slow Food Edward Mukiibi and Lavazza Vice President Giuseppe Lavazza.

What has been accomplished in the first year and a half of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition?


When the SFCC was officially launched, the first objective was to unite the many players in the coffee chain, from producers to consumers, including roasters and distributors. The figures for these first 17 months of activity speak for themselves: 29 new Slow Food Communities related to coffee production in nine countries around the world: Cuba, the Philippines, Honduras, India, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, East Timor and Uganda.

In eight of these new Slow Food Communities, a certification process for good, clean and fair coffee has been implemented. These Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are mechanisms that allow members of the community to self-evaluate their products. But rather than simple self-certification, it is a shared assessment process, which unites producers and other stakeholders and is based on trust and rules, standards and procedures previously established together. This type of certification, unlike many others, does not entail any additional cost for producers, as it is the result of an internal process and does not involve evaluation by a third party body.

Here are the eight Slow Food Communities that have already implemented a SSP: the Slow Food Bio Cuba Café Frente Oriental Community in Cuba, the Slow Food Community Minoyan Murcia Coffee Network in the Philippines, the Slow Food Café Resiliente El Paraíso e Las Capucas Sustainable Coffee Village Community in Honduras, Slow Food Nilgirs Coffee Coalition in India, Slow Food Bosque Community, Niebla y Café Xalapa in Mexico, Slow Food Café Sustentable Villa Rica Community in Peru, and Slow Food Mt. Elgon Nyasaland Coffee Community in Uganda .

What exactly is a PGS?

A Participatory Guarantee System is a tool that, in the case of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, works like this: Slow Food trains local communities, in person or remotely, according to the principles developed over the 30-year history of the ‘association. In collaboration with the communities and according to the individual characteristics of each, the criteria to be respected are established. They are always based on a production process that results in a sensorially pleasing product, respects the environment, follows the principles of agroecology and values ​​the dignity of workers. Local authorities adopting the GSP then make the conscious choice to be responsible for compliance with these rules. It is the community itself that guarantees the reliability of the system, a collective group of people who, in various roles, are all part of the same production line and all work to obtain the best possible product.

This means that the certification does not come from the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, but from the community itself, whose very existence is rooted in shared values ​​and principles.

Yes, but the coffee? Traceable via blockchain and ready to taste at Terra Madre!

The results of the last year and a half of work are presented at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, where the first six pilot coffees of the SFCC are available for tasting. They come from five of the Slow Food Communities that have chosen to introduce a PGS (in Cuba, Honduras, India, Mexico and Peru) and have been processed by 11 different roasters (ten in Italy and one in Denmark). The names of the six cafes? Reserva de Tierra Cuba, Rio Colorado, Dona Elda, La Chacra d’Dago Armonia, Wild Robusta and Café Cooperativo Familia Oltehua Vásquez. The roasters, also members of the SFCC, will offer them to the public, having bet on coffees whose significance goes far beyond a simple caffeine delivery system but which are rather rich in meaning and values.

During the Terra Madre days, which take place at Parco Dora in Turin from today until September 26, these six coffees, bearing the logo of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, can be tasted for 1.50 € each at the SFCC café, located next to the Terra Madre Kitchen at the heart of the event. While only six are available at the moment, the Slow Food Coffee Coalition is working hard to increase that number.

Another important innovation has also been introduced by the SFCC: the blockchain, a traceability system that makes it possible to securely record each step of the production process. Blockchain coffees allow the verification of the information provided on the raw materials and their transformation at each phase of the production process, from the cultivation to the consumer’s cup. This helpful tool is available to anyone who wants to learn more and make conscious consumer choices.

© Aimie Eliot

The Slow Food Coffee Coalition, founded by Slow Food and the Lavazza Group, is also supported by its main partner DeLonghi and donations from BWT and the Accademia del Caffè Espresso La Marzocco, which is also the technical partner of Slow Food Coffee. Coalition at Terra Madre. .

Read the Manifesto and join the Slow Food Coffee Coalition!

Café at Terra Madre: Do not miss these activities:

  • 30h on Friday, September 23: Coffee as an enabler of peace and prosperity in Yemen. This forum will be an opportunity to present the results of the two-year project 2020-2021 “Prosperity through coffee for smallholder farmers in Yemen”, a collaboration between the Lavazza and Qima foundations.
  • 30h on Friday, September 23: Slow Food Coffee Coalition, a new participatory model. An opportunity to talk about the pilot coffees presented at Terra Madre, to hear from producers, roasters, experts and key partners, including Lavazza, DeLonghi and the Accademia del Caffè Espresso LaMarzocco.
  • 30h on Saturday September 24: Participatory guarantee systems: an alternative model of community certification. The PGS is a model of quality assurance that involves local communities and producers working closely together to ensure compliance with shared production standards. Slow Food has been promoting this model, which underpins the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, since 2018.
  • 30h on Saturday September 24: Coffee farmers and young activists united for agroforestry. A dialogue between coffee farmers from around the world and members of the Slow Food Youth Network to discuss the benefits of agroforestry coffee production and present good practices and concrete experiences that can be replicated. The event was organized thanks to the support of the FAO Mountain Partnerships and the project “Addressing market constraints and building capacities for sustainable and profitable agroforestry value chains for coffee”.
  • 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 25: Know Your Coffee. Want to know more about coffee? How about an online course developed by the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Behind your daily cup: understanding the coffee value chain? And has developed the Aromateller qualification for anyone wishing to become ambassadors of a new era of coffee, defined by quality.

Being a Slow Food event, there are of course also Taste Workshops dedicated to coffee, organized by Lavazza and hosted in their Factory 1895 roastery in Settimo Torinese. Three workshops each on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. mean there’s always time for a coffee, especially a good one! A “coffelier” will guide participants through the world of specialty coffee, giving them the tools to understand exactly what makes a coffee a specialty, from its culture in its country of origin to its taste in the cup.

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