Slow Food for Presidia coffee
Slow Food is a global, grassroots no profit organization, founded to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.
Slow Food believes food is tied to many other aspects of life, including culture, politics, agriculture and the environment. Through our food choices we can collectively influence how food is cultivated, produced and distributed, and as a result bring about great change. Slow Food works around the world to protect food biodiversity, build links between producers and consumers, and raise awareness of some of the most pressing topics affecting our food system.
Italians are big coffee experts. This statement seems undisputable, but in reality it is a half-truth. Italians certainly drink a lot of coffee. But how many people know what a coffee plant looks like or where their morning cup came from? And how many consumers know who cultivated, harvested and processed the beans?
The project to create a Slow Food Presidium coffee brand came about precisely to fill this gap in understanding and communication between producers and consumers, including the roasters, a key figure in the supply chain. It is a cultural and social project that aims to raise awareness of coffee issues, with the ultimate goal of shortening the supply chain and improving the quality of life for Presidia producers.
The first step in the coffee sector was to start working with producers. In 2002 a Presidium was launched with a group of coffee growers from the highest regions of Huehuetenango, in Guatemala, kicking off a series of activities that went on to involve the roasters, which are the necessary go-between to reach the consumers.
The project began in 2009 with the creation of a Commission which defined a regulation that stipulates that the brand can only be used for roasted coffee composed of a single Slow Food Presidium coffee.
Coffees produced by the roasters are tasted and evaluated by the Commission. Only the products that receive a positive assessment can be marketed under the Presidium brand. Finally, the roasters must indicate the production area and the name of the coffee producer (individual or organization) on the packaging, in order to give the growers appropriate visibility on the market.
We have always admired the conduct of this organization and when Slow Food started to develop Presidia coffees, we have taken them up on their invitation to collaborate. A collaboration not only as roasters but, thanks to Enrico Meschini’s experience, also as technical partners for the development of the various Presidia, among which the wild coffee from the Harenna forest, in Etiopia, the Presidium robusta Coffee from Sào Tomé and Principe the Presidium robusta Coffee from Luwero, in Uganda, and the Presidio Coffee from Ibo.
For our assortment of Slow Food certified coffees we have chosen two varieties: Harenna and Huehuetenango.
As a sign of our affection for this organization, in occasion of the food exhibition Taste, held in Florence at the Leopolda Station in March 2014, we launched, first in the world, a combination of the two Slow Food Presidia Coffees Harenna – Huehuetenango.
Slow Food was started in 1986 by an idea of Carlo Petrini and in 1989 it became an international “Movement for the defense and the right to material pleasure” serving as an antidote to the “universal folly of Fast Life”. In 2000 the Slow Food Presidia project came alive with the aim of safeguarding or sustaining traditional and local quality productions at risk of extinction. Since 2003 this project has been sustained by the no-profit Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, which represents the operational body for the protection of food biodiversity acting to promote a model of agriculture that is based on local biodiversity and respect for the land and the local culture.