Beyond coffee


"The word culture is derived from the latin term colere - to cultivate, to remain, to take care of, to maintain, to protect - and fundamentally refers to the trade-off between humans and nature, in the sense of cultivating and taking care of nature to ensure that it is proper for human inhabitation." Hannah Arendt

The Malongo Foundation is administered by specialists in various fields and works with a network of agronomists, historians and experts in art and culture. The Malongo has organised initiatives in relation to agriculture and scientific research since 2006, but also promotes contemporary innovations and heritage if any direct or indirect link to coffee exists.

Culture & agriculture


The Foundation organises activities at various levels, in France and abroad. In producing countries, the Malongo Foundation is involved in both emergency operations and long-term projects. The Foundation is more than a source of patronage, it promotes exchanges and gateways between disciplines. The Foundation works to ensure that contributors from a range of different backgrounds cooperate more closely, targeting either the European Union, large museums such as MuCEM, or other organisations.

Finally, the Foundation promotes its values within the company itself. On the one hand, it ensures that all key projects are presented to members of staff by the project leaders: exhibition leaders, heritage conservators, renowned scientists, etc. On the other hand, the Foundation simplifies access to culture via partnerships with local institutions such as the National Theatre of Nice.

Arts & Culture

The Malongo Foundation considers culture in a wider sense, ranging from material and intangible heritage to contemporary art.



The Malongo Foundation has managed the Malongo collection since its creation. This collection is constantly expanding and allows the company to research the history of coffee. And yet, the Foundation is looking to the future too. The Foundation aims to cover all aspects of coffee, and is open to contemporary creations, by supporting many coffee-related artistic projects, as well as by launching its first competition in 2007: Design. Finally, the Foundation incorporates the publishing sector and assists with the publication of specific works outside of the usual commercial routes.


The Foundation launched the Design contest in 2007, and pushes young designers (students and young professionals) to think up new forms and new concepts, particularly in terms of use. This contest drives a general brainstorming process, while allowing winners to take their first career steps. After several editions, the organising committee is currently considering how to give the contest a new direction.



The Foundation is committed to supporting contemporary creations. The Foundation emphasises all the different ways that coffee can be considered, analysed and even questioned in today’s world, from a non-conventional viewpoint, via these projects (from drawing to painting and from videos to installation). The Foundation is involved at several levels: allowing artists to use its collection and training department, inviting them for residential periods, and sometimes by co-producing some works, such as with Eclat at Nice.



The Malongo collection has expanded over time to include a wide variety of objects, all reflecting the history of coffee and how this drink came to be grown, fought over, drunk and sold over the ages: household items (mills, utensils, etc.), culinary arts, graphic arts, ethnic arts, etc.

Since 2007, the Foundation has also created a botanical data fund, which has been highlighted in the form of a herbarium. This herbarium includes various coffee tree varieties, from traditional commercial crops (Arabica, Robusta) to less widely-grown types (Liberica, Excelsa).


The Foundation worked in partnership with MuCEM as part of an ambitious exhibition on coffee. More than three hundred works of art, photographs, objects, etchings, drawings, rare works, correspondences, audiovisual archives and original texts illustrating the history of coffee in the world are spread over more than 1200 m2. Thanks to this partnership, the Foundation was able to show visitors some exhibits from its private collection and part of its herbarium. During this meeting of minds, the Foundation was also able to share its coffee knowledge and expertise.

The exhibition focused on five main sequences: the legend of humanity, city stories, quality questions, market logic and shared occasions. The exhibition covered the full process from plantations to cups, aiming to awaken the curiosity of visitors and bring people face to face with a product which they drink daily, but rarely know the history well. This people-based and cultural adventure reflected the values of MALONGO, while diving into coffee history and news.




  • Café in Exhibition at MuCem
  • Poster
  • Herbarium of the Malongo collection
  • Sequence "A legend of humanity"
  • Séquence "A history of cities"

The Malongo Foundation is involved in both emergency operations and long-term projects in producing countries.



The Foundation helps to develop training structures, in cooperation with local universities, and promotes exchanges between growers, to allow them to benefit from mutual knowledge. The Foundation encourages the restoration of former plantations and contributes to projects combining agriculture and culture, particularly in Mexico, Laos and São Tomé.

In Mexico, the Foundation has supported many projects to ensure multiple sources of income: ecotourism at Chayotepec, agro-industrial production of fruit juice, tea, maracuja, etc. It is also helping to renovate several UCIRI cooperative plantations, which were violently affected by coffee rust.



The Foundation is committed to environmental matters, and supports scientific and agronomic research, particularly when this research leads to warnings on the use of GMOs, pesticides and other herbicides. The Foundation is working towards the development of diversified organic farming based on agroforestry.

The Foundation supports the actions of Cicades in Mexico. Cicades was created following on from a partnership between Chapingo university, the Ocozaca growers cooperative, and Malongo, and provides a unique centre worldwide in terms of research and training in intensive organic farming, sharing the experience and expertise of scientists and local coffee growers with producers from all over the planet.



Los Caminos del Café

This project was co-funded by the Oficina del Conservador of the Town of Santiago de Cuba, the European Union and the Malongo Foundation, under the name Los Caminos del Café. This socio-economic development project focuses on this Santiago de Cuba province. The project includes the restoration of two emblematic sites: Fraternidad and Casa Dranguet

The  Fraternidad plantation forms an eco-archeological park with four other  cafetales (coffee plantations), all classified as UNESCO world heritage. Casa Dranguet is located in the historical centre of Santiago de Cuba and has now been restored. This fully-fledged cultural site is also home to an exhibition area for Cuban coffee heritage, and a tasting area.

This project mainly aims to open up and advertise this heritage to tourists and Cubans, via responsible tourism initiatives.

CHECK OUT Los Caminos del Café
An overview of Malongo expertise