‘The Earth Defenders’

lav  The 2015 Lavazza Calendar celebrates every day African men and women devoted to the land.

Produced together with Slow Food, the 2015 Lavazza Calendar features twelve breath taking pictures by renowned US photographer Steve McCurry, capturing the spirit, strength and humanity of the Earth Defenders. These are women and men who protect their land and projects in Africa with passion and bravery.

The images, launched today, will be on display at the international food and wine fair, Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2014 (Turin, October 23rd-27th 2014), which is geared towards the Slow Food movement, of which Lavazza has been a sponsor for more than 20 years.

Remarkable stories of everyday heroism are illustrated beautifully in McCurry’s pictures, from Nadia, the proud argan oil paladine in Morocco, to John, the guardian of Lare pumpkins in Kenya and Asnakech, who stands guard over coffee estates in Ethiopia.

For the first time, the 2015 Lavazza Calendar is on sale at Salone del Gusto as a limited edition. The proceeds from sales of the calendar and donations made on www.calendar2015.lavazza.com will be contributed entirely to create 10,000 food gardens in African schools and villages by the end of 2016.

Photographer, Steve McCurry spoke about the initiative: “I am proud to have been chosen by Lavazza and Slow Food to take the lav3photographs for the 2015 Calendar. It has been an incredible journey; I have learned a lot and met some extraordinary people who I now think of as my friends. We wanted to portray the devotion of these people to defending their own food communities. It would be a shame to allow these unique traditions to disappear. The idea of protecting them is the inspiration behind this calendar dedicated to the Earth Defenders and to the African continent as a whole.”

Francesca Lavazza, Corporate Image Director added: “Defending products, quality and sustainable development, are the values on which our partnership with Slow Food has been built since the very first Salone del Gusto in 1996. It is a strong bond which has culminated this year in the 2015 Lavazza Calendar. Together we have chosen to celebrate the Earth Defenders: the guardians of food traditions on the African continent who bear witness to a hope for change that we believe is truly possible. With the help of Steve McCurry we have used photographs to tell their stories and dreams and describe all the strength and passion in their souls. Now it is our turn. Because we can all be Earth Defenders and take a stand beside Africa and those who fight every day to build a better future.” 

lav2Carlo Petrini, the President and Founder of Slow Food concluded: “There has to be a return to recognising the value of food: It is no longer admissible and sustainable to consume food recklessly, without looking at what lies behind the product. We can no longer tolerate that local communities in Africa are denied their own food sovereignty: we are all Africans and children of the same planet and we all share the same sense of humanity. The Earth Defenders project tells us that we must support Africa and contribute to the resurgence of this continent, fully aware and proud of the fact that this is not a commitment to charity, but to restitution.”

Starting today, the Calendar2015.lavazza.com website enables everyone who shares the principles and values of food sustainability to become an Earth Defender, by making a donation or becoming a spokesperson for the project on social channels with the hashtag #earthdefenders.