The Lavazza Foundation and Cuba

Cuba, a nation steeped in history and culture, has long been renowned for its contributions to the global stage. Cuba had a once-thriving coffee industry. At the peak during the 1950s, Cuba was a major player in the global coffee market, boasting production levels comparable to modern-day Kenya and renowned for its sweet, full-bodied exports. However, a tumultuous series of events, including the Cuban revolution, a US trade embargo, and devastating disease outbreaks, sent the industry into a downward spiral. By the 1980s, annual production had plummeted, and by the 1990s, exports were nearly non-existent.

Despite these challenges, coffee remains deeply ingrained in Cuban culture, with thousands of farmers continuing to cultivate the crop. However, due to limited access to global markets, finance, and machinery, Cuba now imports the majority of its coffee, primarily from Vietnam and Brazil.

Recognizing the potential for coffee to play a pivotal role in sustainable economic development, Lavazza Group took bold steps to revive Cuba’s coffee industry. In 2018, they launched Bio Cuba Café, a groundbreaking 20-year program aimed at rebuilding the nation’s coffee sector from the ground up. This innovative joint venture, in collaboration with the Cuban Agriculture Ministry and the Italian non-profit AICEC, seeks to breathe new life into Cuba’s coffee production through sustainable practices and strategic investment.

Through Bio Cuba Café, Cuban coffee farmers receive crucial support, including seedlings, agronomic research, and financial investment. The program places a strong emphasis on organic cultivation practices, shade-grown systems, and the use of biofertilizers to enhance production and quality.

As a result of these concerted efforts, Cuban coffee is beginning to regain its footing in international markets, with initiatives like organic certification and traceability enhancing its appeal. By prioritizing both domestic consumption and exports, Bio Cuba Café not only aims to revive Cuba’s coffee industry but also to stimulate economic growth and social development across the country.

In essence, the partnership between Lavazza Group and Cuban organizations represents a promising step towards revitalizing Cuba’s coffee sector and restoring its reputation as a top-quality coffee producer on the world stage.

Lavazza Cuba: A unique, premium blend of washed Arabica combined with washed and 72h fermented Robusta, for a well-rounded and balanced flavour with a velvety body and a delicate sweetness. 100% coffee from plantations supported by Lavazza Foundation project.

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