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ITALY – The 2015 Lavazza Calendar unveiled

TURIN – The 2015 Lavazza Calendar – produced in collaboration with Slow Food, featuring photographs by Steve McCurry and creative direction by Armando Testa – is a photographic journey through the stories of everyday heroism of the Earth Defenders. From Nadia, the proud argan oil paladine in Morocco, to John, the guardian of Lare pumpkins in Kenya, to Anna, who fights for the quality of salted millet couscous on Fadiouth Island in Senegal and to Asnakech, who stands guard over coffee estates in Ethiopia; the women and men portrayed in The Earth Defenders calendar defend their land and their projects in Africa with courage and devotion.

Through this initiative, Lavazza and Slow Food take a stand for Earth Defenders and food traditions, which serve as symbols of hope for local communities and also as spokespeople for a better future. The 12 photographs by McCurry, which immortalize the spirit, strength and humanity of the Earth Defenders, are showcased at Salone del Gusto e Terra Madre 2014 (Turin, October 23-27).

For the first time the 2015 Lavazza Calendar is on sale and will support the “10,000 food gardens in Africa” project. Proceeds from sales of this limited edition calendar will be donated entirely to the Slow Food project, which aims to create 10,000 food gardens in African schools and villages by the end of 2016. Consumers can also become spokespeople for the project on social channels with the hashtag #earthdefenders and participate in the call-to-action published on the website Calendar2015.lavazza.com.

“Defending products, quality and sustainable development,” comments Francesca Lavazza, the company’s Corporate Image Director, “are the values of which our partnership with Slow Food has been built since the very first Salone del Gusto in 1996. Together, with this upcoming calendar, 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 McCurry and advertising agency Armando Testa, we tell their stories and dreams through stunning photographs.”

“There has to be a return to recognizing the value of food and it is no longer admissible and sustainable to consume food recklessly without looking at what lies behind the product,” explains Carlo Petrini, the President and Founder of Slow Food. Petrini adds, “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 its renaissance, fully aware and proud of the fact that this is not a commitment to charity, but to restitution.”

McCurry says, “I am proud to have been chosen by Lavazza and Slow Food to take the photographs for the 2015 Calendar. It has been an incredible journey and I have learned a lot and met some extraordinary people. We wanted to portray the devotion of these people defending their own food communities and ensuring their unique traditions do not disappear. The idea of protecting them is the inspiration behind this calendar.”

Michele Mariani, Executive Creative Director at Armando Testa comments, “McCurry is the ideal person to interpret the spirit of the 2015 Lavazza Calendar, which tells a story of people and one special place, Africa. We have chosen him because he is a masterful contemporary photo reporter and, most importantly, he is the person with the best ability to add poetry to reality and to capture the emotional side of life. Steve has been able to convey the concept and our creative ideas in powerful and evocative images, celebrating the army of workers in Africa who fight a ‘war of resistance’ to defend their crops, their presidia, their food and their culture.”

The 12 photographs in “The Earth Defenders” Calendar are displayed at Salone del Gusto e Terra Madre 2014 in the tunnel connecting Lingotto Fiere to the Oval, the area that hosts the Terra Madre market. McCurry’s photographs are also center stage in the Spazio Lavazza (Pavilion 2), providing the ideal backdrop against which to enjoy a cup of Lavazza ¡Tierra!, the coffee sourced from 100% sustainable plantations, and Kafa, the single-origin 100% Arabica coffee from Ethiopia.