Danesi’s coffee is rich in stories.
“Gutta Cavat lapidem” (The drop digs the stone), stated an ancient Latin proverb. The meaning is simple but profound: every little gesture, if repeated and shared, can lead to great results. Or, in other words: one step at a time allows you to get really far towards a desired destination. And if I told you even with “one cup of
One coffee at a time
“Gutta Cavat lapidem” (The drop digs the stone), stated an ancient Latin proverb. The meaning is simple but profound: every little gesture, if repeated and shared, can lead to great results. Or, in other words: one step at a time allows you to get really far towards a desired destination.
And if I told you even with “one cup of coffee at a time” one can get important results and a better future?
Yes, it is exactly like that. The choice of our daily coffee can make a huge difference, not only for ourselves, but also for the environment, the communities and for the people in need. How? I will explain it shortly, first let’s take a step back.
Crisis and Challenges
In the era of globalization (since the end of the 1980s), profound changes have taken place in the global coffee sector, radically mutating the role of coffee in the economies of many producing countries.
These economies have been severely affected by the fall of prices in international markets, by the reduction in income from coffee exports and by the widespread corruption in public institutions.
Still today, the volatility of international prices, climate change, the lack of manpower and the need for profit are all factors that press unceasingly on the coffee producers so to use new techniques and employ more technologies.
The objective? Minimize production costs and, at the same time, maximize returns while maintaining quality standards.
In the search for a solution
The decline in coffee prices must in fact be compensated by an increase of productivity, if we want that coffee cultivation is to remain a sustainable activity for small business and that larger and more specialized companies can survive in the future.
Increasing productivity levels requires the introduction of innovative technologies, improvements in agronomic practices and a greater control in the administrative and financial management of the plantation.
However, this does not mean that implemented technologies necessarily represent sustainable cultivation models in the long run. It must also be said that the technology transfer cannot be possible unless the farmers have direct access to credit and receive a constant support from their native countries.
In short, this situation is anything but simple.
Investing in the future
What can be done to ensure sustainability of coffee plantations with a low environmental impact in the long term?
In order to meet this challange, the transfer of technological, financial and administrative know-how is essential.
In several producing countries, various systems for the transfer of technologies and innovations have been implemented, these systems on one hand take into account the needs and necessities of the growers and on the other they aim to improve the efficiency of their crops and lead to increase the net profits.
It is a long road to achieve a satisfactory social impact. We need a continuous and constant commitment.
Danesi Caffè made its choice
Danesi Company chooses to select and buy green coffee that will employ in its blends from those groups of small farmers and those medium-size companiesemploying new technologies not to produce higher yields, but to grow a better quality product while respecting the environment where they work and live.
Danesi also chooses to support directly small farmers in order to promote their development, their capacity and self-sufficiency to grow sustainable coffee in the long term.
In short, we commit ourselves to make our contribution.
And you, what do you choose?
So, does it really make sense to continue to rely on certain multinational companies or companies with few scruples, indifferent to any social issue, perhaps to save a few cents per coffee?
Or is it better to choose (thankfully we are more and more!) who decided to invest with effort and passion in today, thus ensuring a better future?
Danesi Caffè for a long time has been moving in this direction, so as to become one of the distinguishing traits of the Company. I want to state loud and clear that there cannot be quality without responsability and vice versa.
This is why we have decided to untie ourselves from downward price logics, which would damage primarily the farmers and the local producers. This is why we have never betrayed our “first commandment”: quality and respect, always.
One coffee at a time
It is clear: each person can contribute to a better future, favoring those producers who have chosen to follow the path of sustainability.
If it will be so coffee beside being good will also have a very special aftertaste, that of ethics and respect.
Because even the simple choice of coffee to be poured into your cup can make the difference and contribute to a better future: for the environment, the people and the whole planet.
Yes, “gutta cavat lapidem”: small gestures can lead to great results.
Inspired by a famous book* of José Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature), I invite anyone to ask himself this question: what would happen if suddenly coffee disappeared from the world? It seems like a surreal question, but let’s try to imagine for an instant what would happen if indeed it happened for real. Our days in the post-coffee era
The Coffee intermittences
Inspired by a famous book* of José Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature), I invite anyone to ask himself this question: what would happen if suddenly coffee disappeared from the world?
It seems like a surreal question, but let’s try to imagine for an instant what would happen if indeed it happened for real.
Our days in the post-coffee era
The first trace of “its absence” would be found at the moment we wake up: no percolating moka, no aroma filling the kitchen and the other rooms in the house, milk never looked so pale. It’s pointless to rush to the first bar: even there, no coffee. From the counter, stunned people stare at each other, they are sleepy, they are mumbling something to the barman:
“I would like a…..A….. I don’t know, what would do you recommend to wake me up a bit?”
“A nice hot tea? What do you think?”
Perplexity and dejection begin to float in the air of the bars, as it happens in all the bars and coffee houses of the world….. Outside of the bars the situation is more or less as follows:
“Will we meet for a coffee today? I have to tell you an incredible story!”
“Yes ok, let’s meet, but coffee does not exist anymore, don’t you remember?”
“Well then let’s meet and drink a fruit juice, a glass of white wine, I don’t know, the important thing is that we meet, correct?
“Ok listen, no fruit juices: it’s just sugar and I am on a diet. About wine I think you’re joking, unless you have decided to begin drinking at 3 o’clock in the afternoon?”
We begin to witness a collective neurosis. Suddenly the world is hit by a deep emotional state of “saudade”: an indefinite and indefinable lack of something, we don’t know where it comes from and why, but it’s real. Coffee no longer exists and we keep on thinking about it, even if we can’t even remember its aroma.
In the meantime a yawning epidemic has erupted and it has traveled three times around the world from mouth to mouth.
Coffee and the end of the world
Even if melancholic, life without coffee is still bearable. But for millions of people coffee extinction represents an authentic drama, actually a tragedy.
Big and small coffee farmers from Africa, Latin America and South East Asia find themselves without their only source of income and livelihood at any moment. This proud agricultural world finds itself facing all the uncertainty of a reality without coffee. Fields are abandoned, many farmers emigrate and are forced to leave their homes, others try the difficult road of
agriculture conversion, unfortunately with no success. Who farms coffee knows thousands of secrets of that plant, but only knows very little about other agricultural crops and their market.
We witness the disintegration of the “People of Coffee”, which represents not only the farmers but all the operators of the coffee supply chain, including the roasters as Danesi who are specialized in the selection and work process and see good coffee as a life mission of many lives interwoven together.
Coffee has disappeared from the world, and with him a whole world: that of coffee.
And yet someone has survived and tries to find a valid alternative. Big coffee multinationals have diversified their business and have made millionaires investments to study and understand which beverage could be given to the world instead of coffee: a concoction made of water and artificial aromas that remembers a lot (so little) coffee.
Because coffee will also have disappeared, but not business, shareholders and investment funds…
The show must go on, with or without coffee.
Just a fantasy?
What if it was not just a fantasy? Today, as yesterday, many coffee producers still exercise a great deal of pressure on the production of their crops in order to maximize yield while not respecting biodiversity.
At the same time, the tangible effects of climate change are exposing many crops to unprecedented weather phenomena that make plants weaker and often reduce their production drastically.
By continuing on this path, the fate of coffee will be characterized by a slow and progressive decrease of the varieties that can be cultivated.
Maybe the end of coffee is not so close, but if there was a path to get there sooner, be aware that many growers around the globe are taking that path at maximum speed even if they do not intend to.
Long life to (quality) coffee
There is a commitment that our company has put in place many years ago to avoid finding ourselves in a world without coffee: a series of projects have been undertaken to prevent losing forever some of the coffee varieties and cultures. Due to this reason Danesi looks for producers and cooperatives of producers able to grant certain standards of work and processing in full respect of both sustainable cultivations and the local communities living on coffee.
Danesi promotes an idea of conscious agriculture through these short supply chain projects, because we know that a coffee farmer who is strangled by the logic of lowest price will have no funds to invest in more durable, sustainable and reliable crops.
All this because at Danesi we can’t imagine a world without coffee and its many varieties.
*Le intermittenze della morte, José Saramago, 2005
If someone talks to you about pink coffee you would probably twist your nose at the idea of a coffee with a similar color. But today I want to talk about a really pink coffee. I’m not crazy and we at Danesi certainly did not decide to put strange substances in our blends. Yet a pink coffee exists, even if
A “pink” coffee
If someone talks to you about pink coffee you would probably twist your nose at the idea of a coffee with a similar color. But today I want to talk about a really pink coffee.
I’m not crazy and we at Danesi certainly did not decide to put strange substances in our blends. Yet a pink coffee exists, even if pink is not the color of the drink, but the color of respect, attention, and ethics that the women of the IWCA – International Women’s Coffee Alliance – deepen for the creation of a coffee market more fair, healthy and resilient.
Quality is a smart and responsible choice
For a long time we at the Danesi have chosen to move towards a kind of selection of raw materials used in our blends that prefers mainly the qualitatively superior varieties. However, in a “fragile” sector like that of coffee not only in relation to the unpredictability of the seasonal trends but also in large part due to the volatility of prices and international geopolitical disturbances-it is a rather difficult task.
Most of the 25 million coffee growers are small, with a reduced ability to withstand the great challenges of our present and the near future, such as the effects of climate change taking place.
It is not a secret, in fact the coffee cultivations of small producers located in the most disparate, distant and impervious parts of the globe, are in some respects more attentive to the qualitative yield of the beans but that, from a production point of view, are also the most fragile ones. The motivations are varied and very often also include the social structure of the local communities involved in the production.
When a cultivation of coffee is pushed only in the direction of a more intensive production, a (harmful) mechanism is triggered, so that: the profit margins of the producers are reduced; the field’s workers leave the rural areas; the crops become more unstable due to the lack of biodiversity; the use of fertilizers and pesticides increases dramatically; we do not invest in the future of crops, such as the adoption of new agricultural practices that are more friendly to the environment and a more efficient use of agricultural inputs. In a similar context, choosing the right partner that can guarantee ‘something’ that goes beyond coffee is essential if you look to the future to try to improve it. For this reason, Danesi, through the IWCA, has decided to support the Rwandan cooperative COCAGI in the town of Gishoma.
A better coffee, a better community
Near the Kivu Lake, the COCAGI Cooperative began its valuable work in 2004 by aggregating around 250 coffee producers. Today there are over 1000 members of the consortium, of whom 267 are women and this is a very important fact.
As in many African rural societies, women are the center of social and productive life. Stimulating the community, relying on women’s potential and not excluding women from development processes is a truly responsible gesture.
The COCAGI, in fact, involves its producers – therefore also about 300 women – in making important decisions for the future of the cooperative, signing health insurance for members, manages a fund to pay the educational expenses for the younger members of the community, buy and shares amongst the members livestock and so on.
But above all, the cooperative runs a laboratory where it grows about 10,000 new seedlings every year, replaces the depleted crops and defends the territory and the soil against the risks of erosion (due to urbanization and/or climate change)
Why Danesi said yes
The initiative, promoted by the IWCA is one of the best actions of social responsibility that revolve around the world of coffee. For us, at Danesi the choice was motivated primarily by our desire to explore new cultivations and varieties of coffee to keep the level of our blends high. Secondly – but certainly not in importance – because we have every interest in these communities to preserve over time and guarantee the standards of their productions.
“Quality” is not just a word of the present, but it is above all a word of the future, because a production that wants to define itself by quality can only be so if it also has the basis of sustainability that allows its quality to be replicated year after year, season after season.
Our long history (112 years of activity) has enriched us with experiences in the world of coffee, so much so that we reach this awareness long before others: quality “is” responsibility and the two cannot be separated.
It is from this distilled – or perhaps it is the case to say “extract” – of experiences that Danesi – who not by chance has an all-female management – has chosen to support the COCAGI cooperative because the quality is above all a matter of responsibility.
If during a conversation someone told you that flour is the most used food in the world, or that coffee is the most consumed drink after water, you would not be very surprised. But try to imagine that you were told that there is a flour – with which bread, pasta, desserts can be made – made not from wheat but
If during a conversation someone told you that flour is the most used food in the world, or that coffee is the most consumed drink after water, you would not be very surprised.
But try to imagine that you were told that there is a flour – with which bread, pasta, desserts can be made – made not from wheat but from the fruits of the coffee plant. How would you react?
Imagine then that you were told that this “coffee flour” has exceptional nutritional qualities and it tastes good. Indeed a great taste. But not only: this food can allow millions of people to have a better life, it can improve the economy of many countries and…. It’s good for the environment!
It sounds too good to be true and perhaps it’s a fantasy. But no: coffee flour exists, and has all these characteristics. Surprised?
Let’s take a step back: I want to tell you a short story.
A brilliant intuition for a revolutionary food
In the year 2012. Dan Belliveau is a Starbucks executive, responsible for overseeing the coffee production and purchase process. Travelling often to local farmers, especially in Mexico, is surprised and troubled by something. During the processing coffee seeds are extracted from the fruits of the plant.The seeds are then transformed into coffee blends, the fruits are simply thrown away. These are enormous quantities.
Here is where he has a “crazy idea”:
“And if we could use all this fruit pulp to create a new product, in order to avoid waste and to give to the farmers a bigger source of revenue?”
He then decides to contact some of the larger coffee companies in the United States, explaining his findings and the situation, but he just receives as an answer a laugh accompanied by a “you are crazy!”.
In spite of that he does not give up. He decides to invest in the project, he conducts a series of tests and experiments, he acquires the patent and in a short period of time he obtains amazing results: from the pulp of the coffee fruits you can obtain a flour with excellent properties and great flavor.
He creates his company, the Global Holdings, and launches a bet: the commercialization of “coffee flour” based products.
From the first steps to success: coffee flour is conquering the world
Big coffee companies and multinationals companies were not the only skeptics of this new flour.
Even the farmers, once it was explained to them that they would have been paid for the “waste” of the coffee process, the fruits of the coffee plant, thought it was a joke. In the early days – as Belliveau himself recounts – they renamed the sack of fruits with an unflattering inscription: “project caca” (we leave the translation to you).
The first times, at the border, the Mexican guards stopped him once saw those sacks filled with “coffee pulp”, they though that something shady was going on, not believing in their explanation “we want to turn it into flour for food”.
“Oye gringo, no sabes que la harina se hace col trigo?” ( “Hey, don’t you know that flour is made with wheat?”) the custom agents stated.
But once overcome all the difficulties and skepticisms, the production enters in full mode: pasta, bread, waffles, muffins, biscuits, sweets and many other products are made using coffee flour.
The success is immediate and overwhelming. To give you an idea, consider this data: about after two years, in 2015, a giant company like Google – always very attentive to innovation and to quality in every sector of their business – decided to include several products made with coffee flour in their employee lounges and cafeteria around the world.
Subsequently, other multinationals, such as the historic HSBC, chose to adopt coffee flour in their cafeteria or lounges scattered around the globe.
A new “food era” has begun.
A superfood with unique features
But what is causing all the success of coffee flour? The reasons are various.
First of all, this flour has exceptional nutritional values, incomparable with classic wheat flour or other cereals: it has a high content of fiber, iron, potassium and is rich in antioxidants; a very low fat and sodium content; no presence of gluten, making edible even to those that suffer from celiac disease.
And the taste? Surprisingly, it looks like it does not taste like coffee. Whoever has tasted pastries made with this flour explain that they recognized a light almond aftertaste, with floral or roasted fruit notes, depending on the variety. A trace of caffeine is present, although in minimal quantities, there are already in progress studies aimed to offer a version of this product 100% caffeine free.
Sustainability, opportunity and environment
According to current estimates, each year close to 46 billion pounds of coffee fruits are “discarded” in the world. About 10% is used as fertilizer, while the remaining portion is literally thrown away.
Let’s imagine now the positive effect that using these massive quantities of product it could have for the coffee growers living in developing countries. What was previously a waste suddenly it becomes a new source of income.
As it already happens in some coffee farms, for example the cooperative Samac in Guatemala – where alongside and in support of which Danesi Caffè has been working directly for several years – here the remnants of the harvest are recycled and transformed in compost to grow mushrooms which will be then used as a source of food or a second source of revenue for the farmers.
With more revenues, the families of the coffee growers can live better lives, buy clothing, have their children study, reach a better economic stability and overall tranquility. Not limited to this: new jobs are created and part of the earnings can be reinvested in technology and techniques to improve production, counteract natural calamities, control the challenges of global warming, possible geopolitical instabilities or fluctuation of prices ensuring a better and constant quality of the coffee that we consume every day.
Even the country where cultivation takes place (be in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Rwanda or any other) gets a new and important source of input that can be converted into infrastructure, education, public health and so on.
As if this was not enough, the environment receives a great advantage! The coffee berries, now being reused, are in fact no longer thrown by the ton in the rivers, preventing the pollution of waters sources as well as the damage to local flora and fauna.
Commitment for a better future
In short, we can say loud and clear: the coffee flour is a revolutionary food that does well and does good. And it is tasty too.
The world of coffee never stops to amaze. Among many variables, one thing is certain: investing in research, quality, and sustainability – a road that we at Danesi have already taken a long time ago – can lead to great achievements.
For a more fair world in which the aroma and taste of coffee are synonymous with quality and respect.
For over one hundred years Danesi brand has been roasting coffee in the name of quality and in respect of the tradition, for people and for nature. The attention our company devotes to reduce to the minimum the social and environmental impact the coffee production process requires is expressed today through the constant commitment towards the safeguard and protection of Continua a leggere
For over one hundred years Danesi brand has been roasting coffee in the name of quality and in respect of the tradition, for people and for nature. The attention our company devotes to reduce to the minimum the social and environmental impact the coffee production process requires is expressed today through the constant commitment towards the safeguard and protection of the artistic and cultural heritage, so unique in our country, with a renewed spirit of national pride.
Therefore DANESI CAFFE’ after joining from its creation the Consortium For The Protection Of The Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee, decided this year to support also FAI – Italian Environmental Fund becoming part of the corporate membership as Corporate Golden Donor.
Along side of FAI we want in fact to contribute to the creation of a larger protection project , this is an ambitious cultural challenge aimed to make Italy a place more beautiful, where to live, work and raise our children. The cultural and landscaping heritage that FAI is safeguarding and promoting, represent in fact a unique heritage in this world, this is the fundamental resource on which to invest for the rebirth, development and to revalue of our beautiful Country. Thanks to the support of its numerous members, both private citizens and companies, FAI for over 40 years manages and protects over 50 assets on the whole national territory. Important artistic and historical settlements saved from neglect have been restored and protected and now open to the public.
Every Day FAI is committed to safeguard and make accessible to everyone splendid artistic, cultural and natural treasures spread in the countryside, in the cities and on the shores of our Country: to educate and sensitize people to understand and to respect and protect art and nature and to become the spokesman of the values of a civil society, by being vigilant and becoming a positive forces for the environment.
The CaféyCaffè Project was created with the aim of improving the standard of living of small producers in rural mountain communities, reducing its socio-economic vulnerability and increasing the sustainability of their crops and their incomes. The result is the guarantee of the most extensive and reliable supply of sustainably coffee product, high- quality features. The influence of climatic change on Continua a leggere
The CaféyCaffè Project was created with the aim of improving the standard of living of small producers in rural mountain communities, reducing its socio-economic vulnerability and increasing the sustainability of their crops and their incomes.
The result is the guarantee of the most extensive and reliable supply of sustainably coffee product, high- quality features.
The influence of climatic change on coffee production is no longer a questionable matter. As the ICO (International Coffee Organization) says, between 2008 and 2009, a production decrease linked to climatic changes has been registered in Middle America and Mexico. Emblematic, in this sense, is the case of Colombia, which lost 50% of its production.
The situation in El Salvador is even worse: those phenomena which occurred in a five year time frame, are now not that sporadic. Drought and flood happen almost every year, with huge consequences on coffee fields, such us the decrease of plant performance and, in general, the decrease of product quality.
Even Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, the last three seasons of harvest has faced important challenges related to the occurrence of severe drought phenomena. Suffice it to say that at the beginning of 2014, the drought that hit on Brazil has been among the most severe historically recorded, while the almost lack of rain that is coming down for over a year in the eastern areas of the country has resulted in a reduction harvest of those areas by more than 30 % compared to previous levels.
No exception, in this sense, for the production situation in Asia. In fact, for countries like Vietnam or India, affected by drought and arid lands, in 2017 we do not expect a particularly fruitful year in terms of production.
Not different is the African situation: last Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) report, about export activities in January 2010, shows that the total exportations of Robusta quality coffee, between October and January 2009/10, had a 17% volume decrease. This condition has grown worse due to the drought, which damaged the plant in its embryonic delicate phase.
So, the progressive decline of produced and exported coffee is attributable to critical climatic conditions (high temperature and sporadic rainfalls) and to the growing diffusion of Coffee Wilt Disease, topic on which they do not invest.
In addition, according to the 2009 FAO report, the harvest performances are mostly influenced by climatic changes and by the competition among people, livestock and means of transport into the access to alimentary resources, in a place in which land and water run low.
Perhaps the horizon there is only a possibility and a way forward.
That of an ethical economy and the construction of an increasingly close and correct relations between the different industry players, since it is only through cooperation and mutual respect that will be able to face the complexity of the issues involved and the future challenges of this as all other agricultural sectors.
The major element of innovation, today, is the centrality of the concept of “diversity” together to create value in the direct relationship between the producer and the roaster, fully aware that the success of any organization and of each product is also measured through the kind of relationship and dialogue that are established with its suppliers, in a continuous process of improvement, support and mutual growth.
One of the positive consequences of this report will be to gradually improve and/or increased efficiency in coffee production and processing conditions for the producer, whereas globally the caffeicola production is largely carried out by small producers. In this way, they will be adopted in the most advanced process technologies and cultivation techniques, which are to be regarded as instruments and means for an economically sustainable caffeicola production. At the economic level, the increase in productivity and quality of coffee means higher revenues for producers, without this resulting in increased productivity that lead to lower global prices.
OUR PURPOSE During 2016 Danesi Caffè S.p.A. joined the National Cluster Agrifood CL.A.N. – a partnership of significant enterprises, centers of research, local representatives and stakeholder in the agro industrial business – with the purpose of promoting a sustainable economic growth based on research, development and innovation technology and to be the single interlocutor of national and European Institutions. The Continua a leggere
CL.A.N. – National Agrifood Cluster
During 2016 Danesi Caffè S.p.A. joined the National Cluster Agrifood CL.A.N. – a partnership of significant enterprises, centers of research, local representatives and stakeholder in the agro industrial business – with the purpose of promoting a sustainable economic growth based on research, development and innovation technology and to be the single interlocutor of national and European Institutions.
The National Technological Cluster (8 in total) have been promoted by MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research) with the aim of generating permanent dialogue platforms between public research system and enterprises, being consistent with “Horizon 2020” priorities.
Nowadays they represent an important intermediate infrastructure to which is delegated the task of promoting the cooperation of public/private research in terms of technological development and innovation and rebuilding national policies in areas of strategic interest as well as to encourage smart territorial specialization.
Purpose Recently Danesi Caffè S.p.A. became part of the Executive Committee of University-Enterprise –(Food and Human Nutrition Science of Biomedical Campus University of Rome) with the goal of promoting a constant dialogue between academic authorities and enterprises by creating the opportunity to offer educational training and internships for professional and different candidates in the job market. Placement activities provide for Continua a leggere
University and Business Committee of the Biomedical Campus of Rome
Recently Danesi Caffè S.p.A. became part of the Executive Committee of University-Enterprise –(Food and Human Nutrition Science of Biomedical Campus University of Rome) with the goal of promoting a constant dialogue between academic authorities and enterprises by creating the opportunity to offer educational training and internships for professional and different candidates in the job market.
Placement activities provide for an integrated approach of information, orientation and support to the students and graduates, professors and enterprises to overcome the frequent disconnect between expectations of those entering the world of work and the different needs of the production system.
For those reasons, it is given to the students the possibility of doing an internship/training in the enterprises in order to provide the candidates with appropriate skills and professionalism to encourage and to facilitate the new graduates entrance in the world of work. All the above inserted in a wider context of participation in social and economic development of our Country and territory.