The commitment of the Lavazza Foundation in Cuba is more than a mission: it's a long-term commitment aimed at supporting and fostering significant changes. One of the earliest initiatives, 'Cafè Escuela,' undertaken in partnership with Oxfam from 2018 to 2021, concentrated its efforts on the revitalization of coffee cultivation. Through this initiative, we strengthened agronomic skills, increasing efficiency throughout the entire coffee production chain and improving sustainable farming techniques.
A crucial aspect was the recovery of coffee plantations: together with our valuable project partners, we created 10 production centres and planted about 6 million new plants, carefully selected due to their resistance to Roya, a harmful fungus that threatens coffee plants.
Our support extends to 170 producers, who have obtained organic certification and adopted agronomic practices that respect local environment: for example, the use of insects and earthworms to create organic composts, following the principles of circular economy. Alongside these practices, our commitment to promote and enhance the role of women and young people within these agricultural communities is a pivotal part of the project. In fact, a team of 95 women in the areas of Contramaestre and Guisa manage the manual selection of beans, which is an essential part of the process that detects defects that machines cannot identify ensuring the quality of the coffee.
The most recent phase of the project saw the creation of 'BioCuba Cafè', a joint venture, created by the Lavazza Foundation, Grupo Agroforestal (GAF) and the HEI (Heco en Italia) company and other partners, aiming to support producers and coffee sector enterprises to strengthen the market and support continuous innovation. The joint venture will work to preserve forests, assist more communities to achieve organic certification, and improve the quality of their coffee through training courses.
We are working towards a brighter future, where every cup of coffee represents a strong bond, with the help of projects that promote change and improve the wellbeing of Cuban agricultural communities.