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Partners for Sustainability – Together for a Sustainable Future” is the title of the convention organised by Lavazza and held last 26 October in the “Sala Blu” at the Lingotto exhibition centre. It was an opportunity to bring together everyone involved in the ¡Tierra! project and to discuss the meaning of sustainability and how to implement it effectively.

The meeting, moderated by the reporter Oliviero Bergamini, was attended by Giuseppe Lavazza, Vicepresident of the Lavazza Group, Carlo Petrini, the Founder and President of Slow Food, Daniel Katz and Ana Paula Tavares, representatives of Rainforest Alliance, the American NGO now celebrating its 25th anniversary and with which Lavazza has been collaborating for a decade, since the launch of the ¡Tierra! project.

"Growth needs to be durable, to support future generations". Carlo Petrini is firmly convinced that companies who sincerely believe in sustainability and follow its values, as in the case of Lavazza and its ¡Tierra! project, can only have a positive impact, both in economic terms and in terms of profile.

¡Tierra! in this sense has become a replicable model, and is now a real example of sustainable development. The term that cropped up most frequently in the discussion was "alliance", in the sense of a profitable relationship and joint venture between people who share the same objectives and actions.

One example of this is the model pursued by the Rainforest Alliance, which in 1987 embarked on a dialogue with businesses and multinationals, using communication to obtain real results.

The validity of their approach is borne out by the statistics, as we were reminded by Daniel Katz and Ana Paula Tavares, Rainforest's international ambassadors. "Building bridges to build solutions" was the theme at the core of their speech, which highlighted how — together with a number of enlightened businesses including the Turin-based coffee giant — there are still "corporate dinosaurs" who fail to see how alliances between companies, organisations and ordinary citizens are the key to creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Giuseppe Lavazza retraced the stages of Lavazza's history, through to the creation of the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Foundation and the ¡Tierra! project, underlining how the company has shown respect for people and the environment ever since its formation.

In enabling the coffee-growing communities in the six different countries involved in the ¡Tierra! project to become self-sufficient, it has made "respect" the keyword of its success.

The convention was also an opportunity to retrace the steps of the latest ¡Tierra! initiative in Tanzania, where in parallel with the regular training offered to coffee growers and the implementation of pilot schemes to improve the way coffee is grown, July 2012 saw the inauguration of the MaseRing Nursery school in collaboration with the Kirua Children Association. As with the previous projects, the construction of the school and the initiatives organised in Tanzania had the benefit of an outstanding biographer – the photographer Steve McCurry, who took the pictures of the African country previewed during the Salone.