De’Longhi’s effort in promoting sustainability in the coffee industry has been realised through Honduras, its first-ever Specialty Coffee developed in partnership with Slow Food Coffee Coalition.
The joint effort results in high-quality Specialty Coffee from the Slow Food Community “Las Capucas Sustainable Coffee Village” in Honduras. Grown on a farm that practises agroecological management, the beans, just one part of the chain of custody, present a traceability system. The single-origin, 100% arabica beans are harvested at an altitude of 1,200 metres in an agroecological system with organic compost made of farm by-products and without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. The coffee is grown in consociation with other plants that provide shade and nutrients to the coffee plants and support the flora and fauna biodiversity on the farm. This helps both the health of the coffee plants and the diets of people living on the farm, that harvest the fruits and other plants and breed farmyard animals in a closed circle with nature.
The beans undergo natural processing–they’re semi-washed, meaning some pulp remains on the bean while it dries, and use the “honey”, or the sticky pulp that clings to the bean and adds distinct flavour notes. This type of processing calls for less water, upping the coffee’s sustainability factor.
The care that went into production manifests in the cup: the coffee underwent the rigorous tasting process by the Specialty Coffee Association. The tasters awarded the coffee a cupping score that exceeded 80 and, consequently, the right to be called Specialty Coffee. “The quality of the export batches is evaluated in a laboratory,” says coffee expert Andrej Godina, an authorised Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) trainer, “where at the end of the coffee harvest, all of the Slow Food coffees are tasted.” After sampling all the beans produced by the community, only the best beans are selected – those with a score exceeding 80–for De’Longhi’s first Specialty Coffee.
Coffee characterises the routines of millions. Still, it offers so much more than a morning pick-me-up, explains Emanuele Dughera, coordinator of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition. He encourages taking a greater interest in where our coffee comes from. Dughera believes the first thing to do is keep in mind who produced the coffee and where: “It’s an agricultural product processed by many hands, and the first hands are the producers.”
The Slow Food Coffee Coalition provides producers with the tools to establish a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) initiative to identify good, clean, and fair coffee. A PGS is an alternative certification model whereby producers and other stakeholders share a set of commonly-defined standards and norms, common procedures, a coordinating body, a common logo, and defined consequences for non-compliance.
In November 2021, the Slow Food Community “Las Capucas Sustainable Coffee Village” kicked off the PGS initiative and formed the Ethical Committee. The group signed the good, clean, and fair guidelines and agreed to the PGS pledge.