Marco Lavazza serves sustainability initiative at Australian Open

Marco Lavazza Australian open

Fourth generation Lavazza family member Marco Lavazza has paid homage to Australia’s sophisticated coffee culture at the Australian Open, where the company is sponsoring the iconic tennis event for the fifth consecutive year.

Having just flown in from Italy to celebrate Italian Day at the Melbourne event, Marco told BeanScene the past year has been an exciting one of growth for the company, which is now firmly focused on innovation.

“We know the market, we know the coffee, we know Australian consumers and their concerns, and we are very picky on one thing – quality, every, single day,” Marco said. “Our history as a family company is based on research, sustainability, and innovation, without forgetting who we are or where we come from because of the values we share.”

More than ever, Marco says Australians are strong “conscious buyers” who do their homework on the products they buy.

“Nowawdays, if a company doesn’t have a strong social, corporate, or economic sustainability plan, they’re out of the market. For us it’s always been a normal part of our business,” Marco said. “[Australians] know if the product involves green washing. They know if it’s sustainably sourced or if it’s real.

“Lavazza has gained credibility year on year. It’s not easy. It’s taken us 40 years to arrive where we are now and it can take five minutes to ruin everything, so we have to be very careful with what we do. We have to understand how to satisfy the end consumer, which is easy to say but not always easy to do.”

For this year’s Australian Open from 20 January to 2 February, Lavazza has cemented its committed to sustainability with its new partnership with Melbourne-based recycling company Reground, to divert more than one tonne of coffee from landfill.

Lavazza’s ¡Tierra! coffee is roasted locally in Melbourne.

With more than 200,000 coffees anticipated to be sold across the two-week event, Reground is collecting used coffee grounds from Lavazza’s Garden Square and Grand Slam Cafe and turning it not a valuable resource to help grow local community gardens.

“Lavazza has been driving sustainability goals globally for many years, which recently saw us rank as the top food and beverage brand in the 2019 Reputation Institute’s Corporate Responsibility report. This is just another example of our commitment to growing our environmental responsibilities at the Australian Open – and in turn, the wider community,” says Lavazza’s APAC Business Unit Director and Australia Managing Director Silvio Zaccareo.

The initiative forms part of Lavazza’s wider sustainability vision for the AO. It has also introduced a partnership with recycling leaders TerraCycle to dispose all Lavazza coffee pods used at the event. 2020 also marks the first year that Lavazza will be introducing compostable cups for all coffees sold, as well as using only paper straws across its cafés.

Silvio says 2019 marked a historic change for Lavazza’s Australian presence. After spending the last few years growing its brand awareness in the market, setting up Lavazza Australia as an independent brand, and perfecting its Australian-roasted coffees, last year was the first time the company could focus on innovation across all its channels – at home, away-from-home, and office coffee service.

“More and more, we are reinforcing innovation in our pipeline,” Silvio says. “I’ve worked in many different markets and coffee is by far the most challenging, but one of the most exciting because of how much the industry appreciates quality,” he says.

“The country has strong local players. On one side as a family owned company of 125 years’ experience, we have the credibility to talk the coffee language and on the other side as a market leader, we are forced to drive innovation and cement our stance on sustainability.”

With consolidation in the market a large talking point amongst the industry’s top players in 2019, including Lavazza’s acquisition of Blue Pod, an Australian company specialising in the distribution of Lavazza espresso systems for the office sector, Silvio says for Lavazza, consolidation is a necessary part of growth to manage its global independence.

“We have to respect our international heritage, but we want to talk the local language,” Silvio says. “The market is terribly exciting, and we need to play hard because quality and sophistication is crucial to success.”

Lavazza employs a total of more than 4000 people with a turnover of € 1.87 billion (approximately $3.05 billion) in 2018. In Australia, the company grew almost 17 per cent in total sales, largely determined by the Blue Pod acquisition, and 6.5 per cent without accounting the acquisition, compared to the year prior.

Lavazza is sponsoring the Australian Open for the fifth consecutive year.

“This this means we are definitely accelerating our growth across all the channels we are playing with here in Australia,” Silvio says.

Lavazza has been a proud sponsor of the Australian Open for five consecutive years. It is the only food and drink sponsor of all four Grand Slams.

At an exclusive media event at the Australian Open, Marco Lavazza acknowledged the difficulties facing the Australian community following the bushfire crisis and cemented its support behind Tennis Australian is its Aces for the Bushfire Relief campaign with its tennis ambassadors, including Jannik Sinner, Angelique Kerber, and Johanna Konta. Lavazza will also be donating part of the earnings from coffee sold during the Australian Open to the Red Cross to help local affected communities.

Lavazza’s hero site at the Australian Open 2020 is the café located at Grand Slam Oval (GSO) – a two-storey, custom-built structure offering skyline views across GSO, incorporating a refreshed design and serving traditional hot beverages, along with refreshing creations including its Cremespresso and Nitro Cold Brew.

Coffee lovers can enjoy Lavazza’s premium blend ¡Tierra!, originating in Brazil and Colombia and locally roasted in Melbourne. ¡Tierra! is part of Lavazza’s social responsibility project to improve the social and environmental conditions and production techniques of some coffee producing communities.

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