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From coca to coffee in Colombia, via Italy

Italian Lavazza coffee is a familiar and well regarded brand for many of us, but far fewer will be aware of the work being done by the Lavazza Foundation,which is behind this trailer for a documentary for Amazon Prime now on limited release in Italy, the UK and the USA.

It introduces us to Johana, a Colombian woman who lost everything as a result of the five-decade guerrilla/government war that killed more than 260,000 people and displaced millions, and is rebuilding her life through coffee farming.

It is directed by renowned Colombian movie-maker Oscar Ruiz Navia, known for Siembra (2015), Los hongos (2014), Solecito (2013), La Sirga (2012) and El vuelco del cangrejo (2009).

Johana's story is one of hope and rebirth as she forms part of a nationwide drive to transition tracts of land from coca cultivation - the traditional crop has also been the basis of cocaine production and the illegal drug trade - to coffee plantations.

The coca plant (above) has long been chewed as a stimulant and to counter the effects of thin mountain air by natives of the South American regions where it grows, and was also used in Coca-Cola until 1903.

Cocaine - one of the most trafficked illegal drugs in the world - is extracted from coca through a chemical process. Before its negative effects became widely understood, it was hailed by many for its properties as a tonic, with psychoanalyst and user Sigmund Freud terming it 'magical' in 1884.

For those of us who take that magic in our coffee cups, Lavazza positions itself and ranks high: its 'More Than Italian' message crosses language and cultural boundaries, and it heads the top 10 global coffee bean brands 2020 presented by The Best Coffee Beans review.

In Colombia, the Lavazza Foundation reports that its sustainable development program is raising the socio-economic conditions of over one hundred families, helping them revive their coffee plantations. Johana is joined on her journey in this 'Coffee Defenders' documentary by experienced reporter Alexandra Roca.

The foundation aims to involve the coffee community and enthusiasts on sustainable issues linked to coffee - an agricultural product particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Do you like this story-telling approach, and/or admire the principles behind it?


Posted by Tree Elven on 15/06/2020

Keywords: Lavazza Foundation, Colombia, coca to coffee, coffee sustainability, Alexandra Roca documentary, Colombian coffee farmers, Amazon Prime documentaries, durgs trade, Oscar Ruiz Navia, We Are Social Milan, Ochurus!

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