The New “Center For Circular Economy In Coffee” Is The First Global Collaborative Platform For The Circular Transition In The Coffee Industry


Its launch was announced at the World Coffee Conference

Bangalore, India, September 27, 2023 – Yesterday, at the World Coffee Conference (WCC 2023) promoted by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and jointly organized with the Government of India and its Coffee Board in Bangalore (India), was announced the launch of the Center for Circular Economy in Coffee, the first global pre-competitive platform aiming at accelerating the circular transition in the coffee supply chain, promoting its principles, supporting innovation, and developing good practices related to circular economy in the global coffee industry.

The Center is promoted and supported by a global network of partners: Giuseppe e Pericle Lavazza Foundation, Politecnico di Torino, University of Gastronomic Sciences (Pollenzo, Italy), International Coffee Organization (ICO), International Trade Centre (ITC) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Taking steps on an idea from the Lavazza Foundation and established in Turin (Italy), the Center is now open to all players in the coffee supply chain: local growers’ communities, providing them with access to a global knowledge network and the chance to implement pilot projects in the circular economy; coffee roasters, who can benefit from collaboration following the creation of a scientific network of industry experts, proposing new initiatives and finding inspiration in the projects shared with the Center; associations, institutions and strategic partners, will also be welcomed supporting new initiatives that will help to accelerate the circular economy in the coffee industry; research centres and academia, to raise awareness and propose innovative solutions.

The World Coffee Conference (WCC 2023) organized by ICO is the world’s largest coffee event bringing together producers, leading industries and decision-makers, from over a hundred countries every four years. The WCC provides a unique forum for dialogue between governments, the private sector, development partners, civil society and all coffee stakeholders, to tackle the challenges facing the sector through international cooperation and to foster socio-economic opportunities. Held for the first time in Asia, from September 25 to 27, 2023, WCC 2023 in Bangalore focuses on circularity and is entitled “Sustainability through circular economy and regenerative agriculture”.

Yesterday, representatives of the Lavazza Foundation, ITC and UNIDO set out the mission pursued by the Center, which adopts a collaborative approach and aims to improve the environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability of the coffee system, supporting its players by sharing know-how and mobilising resources to implement circular solutions.


Mario Cerutti, Lavazza Foundation Secretary and Lavazza Group Head of Institutional Relations & Sustainability:
“Faced with the need to accelerate the transition to the circular economy, our Foundation established in 2004 developed the idea of applying our signature multi-stakeholder collaborative approach to circularity: if on the one hand tangible action by individual players is indispensable, it is only by joining forces with all the other players in the coffee industry that we can give a real boost to the circular transition. Innovation and collaboration are the keywords driving our strategy. This new Center represents a valuable precompetitive area which has the potential to deliver lower impacts on environment and improve the income for coffee growers and other stakeholders: a very good reason for all the actors of the supply chain to join the group and actively participate.

Silvia Barbero, Associate Professor at Politecnico di Torino, Department of Architecture and Design-DAD, co-founder and director of Sys – Systemic Design Lab and member of the Scientific Committee of the Center for Circular Economy in Coffee:“For Politecnico di Torino, the Center represents the recognition of years of research in the coffee sector and demonstrates our strong commitment to collaboration with entities in the global panorama. The University’s contribution to this initiative will extend beyond research and knowledge co-creation, focusing on the implementation of projects through the establishment of an inclusive network capable of actively engaging all the stakeholders in the coffee value chain. To achieve this goal, it is essential to reach a holistic understanding of this system, known for its high complexity in processes and, above all, in the relationships among the numerous actors involved.” 

Rinaldo Rava, Vice-President of UNISG and member of the Board of Directors of the newly founded Center for Circular Economy in Coffee: “Circular Economy for Food is a strategic topic for our University. We are happy to be able to contribute to this important project of a long-standing Strategic Partner of the University such as Lavazza Foundation, bringing our systemic and holistic vision to Gastronomic Sciences.”
Franco Fassio, professor of Systemic Design and Circular Economy for Food at UNISG and member of the Scientific Board of the Center for Circular Economy in Coffee: “This economic, political, and cultural paradigm shift requires a collaborative model that goes beyond the concept of linearity, and embraces a systemic and circular vision. The Center for the Circular Economy in Coffee is an opportunity to share that knowledge economy and support sustainable development by consolidating a common language.”

Vanúsia Nogueira, Executive Director of the ICO:
“Innovation is essential to improve quality, reduce risks and transform the coffee supply chain, from bean to cup and beyond, into a profitable and sustainable system capable of meeting growing demand, all while preserving natural resources and ensuring prosperity for millions of coffee farmers and workers. At the 5th WCC, the coffee community gathered to share and learn about new tools and approaches to accelerate progress in the coffee sector and leverage public and private sector support to generate new solutions and resources. The Center for Circular Economy in Coffee is a perfect example of how the ICO can mobilize local and global partners to support the world coffee community: fostering circular economy solutions will help secure the world’s coffee supply while meeting the demand for sustainable coffee, transforming waste into new job and income opportunities and tackling the environmental issues facing the sector.”

UNIDO strongly believes that public-private partnerships are conducive to coffee value chain integration, particularly for fostering innovative solutions to implement the 2030 Development Agenda. Within the Center UNIDO will contribute through innovation, industrial design, technology, and knowledge transfer. The objective is to amplify circular practices via a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach. The global coffee industry, in conjunction with development partners, has a unique chance to strategically invest in circularity, ensuring productivity for the industry, profitability for farmers, and global sustainability.


Hernan Manson, Head Inclusive Agribusiness Systems, ITC:
“Circular Economy is a model for sustainability. In practice, it integrates core tenants that we at ITC are promoting, including sustainable and inclusive value chains, market access, digitalization, and value addition at origin. With the convening power of ITC’s Coffee Guide Network bringing together experts and value chain actors across the coffee sector, ITC is a natural partner for the Center for Circular Economy in Coffee and is proud to be a founding member. We will leverage the expertise and reach of our sustainable agribusiness ‘Alliances for Action’ network participants to identify and select relevant case studies and initiatives related to Circular Economy across the coffee global value chain, co-create new resources related to circular economy, and support small businesses in coffee producing countries in developing ideas and know-how on sustainability projects in the coffee sector.”  


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