It is also one of only seven companies worldwide to be honoured at the awards.
Su Cacioppo receives Wetherspoon's award at the 2010 Gala Awards in New York.
The Rainforest Alliance has honoured Wetherspoon, in 2010, with a Sustainable Standard Setter Award, in recognition of our ongoing dedication, innovation and leadership in environmental conservation.
The award recognises pioneering companies which have collaborated with the Rainforest Alliance and exhibited outstanding leadership, in efforts to promote sustainability.
Wetherspoon’s leadership in sourcing only 100% Rainforest-Alliance-Certified coffee has been critical to the market growth of sustainable coffee in Europe.
Moreover, Wetherspoon’s customers have taken to the taste of Lavazza Tierra coffee so well that it is now the largest seller of the coffee in the world; no mean feat, when you consider that Lavazza is Italy’s favourite coffee, with a staggering 47% of the retail market there, and is selling globally in over 90 countries.
Giuseppe Lavazza presented the award to Wetherspoon’s legal & personnel director Su Cacioppo, in recognition of not only our achievements in supporting the growth and awareness of Rainforest Alliance coffee, but also the wider efforts which we, as a company, make in sustainable supply-chain decisions, such as the commitment to improving the environment. Some of the initiatives highlighted at the awards ceremony included the commitment to cut energy consumption by 15%, the achievement of recycling over 12,000 tonnes of waste last year and the work with suppliers to reduce packaging.
Great coffee which makes a difference Lavazza’s history is not only the story of a successful company, but also the tale of a family which has worked passionately for four generations (and 115 years), striving to combine tradition and originality. Lavazza’s Paul Johnston explained: “Economic growth, environmental protection and respect for individuals in particular in coffee producing countries have always been important to the family. The family established The Lavazza Foundation to support sustainability projects in coffee growing communities.”
The coffee which you drink at Wetherspoon is Lavazza Tierra: the result of an ambitious, autonomous project, launched by the family in 2002, with a clear purpose: to improve the living conditions of communities, to make coffee production more profitable and environmentally friendly for coffee-growers and to make the territory a better place in which to live.
Paul continued: “The initial project involved three coffee-growing communities, in Honduras, Peru and Colombia, on three levels: economic, social
and environmental. Working with the communities, we were able to identify which areas would help them most; as a result, classrooms and infirmaries were built, plus houses and plants refurbished, in order to improve, simplify and make coffee- processing a more efficient procedure.
“It is about support – yes – but it is also about empowering, training and developing the growers, so that they can crave and achieve a life without our support – so that they can be truly independent and sustainable.” ..and what better way to achieve that than making some great coffee!
By working hand in hand with the communities, over two years, the team was able to develop and introduce Lavazza Tierra, a high-quality blend of coffee, with remarkable flavour and aroma, comprising three types of washed, green Arabica coffee bean – all grown in the original three communities.
Three years after the Tierra project began, it obtained Rainforest Alliance certification, confirming the project’s sustainability, with regard to environmental, social and employment practices.
To Lavazza, the recognition was a rewarding justification of the efforts, as Paul explains: “The work with the communities evolved in a way which no one could really have envisaged. With the help of agronomists, whose aims were to improve the productivity and quality of the end product, we have worked with the communities in training coffee-growers.
“We have recognised, though, that support goes beyond simply growing: wider initiatives include the building of classrooms and clinics and the restoration of homes.
“Finance is also important: in Honduras, we were able to help to set up two banks, offering microcredit, so that growers could manage their financial resources more efficiently. “However, as we mentioned, the aim of the project is sustainability – to help the community to stand alone; after six years’ hard and demanding work, the Tierra project has now been completed in the original coffee- growing communities. “We are thrilled by the results achieved and by the fact that the communities, now fully independent and whose coffee is marketed worldwide, are equally satisfied.
“We maintain links with the communities, committing to buy part of their coffee production, but we are now looking to start new sustainability projects in Brazil, India and Tanzania, where Tierra will broaden its horizons.”
All thanks to you, enjoying our coffee.