Green Mountain Coffee Roasters committed to fighting hunger in the coffeelands

Nicaragua, February 19, 2013

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  • Mothers in Indonesia's coffee-growing regions learn how to improve their children's health and nutrition, thanks to a program supported by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Photo: Mercy Corps
  • A new coalition of coffee companies, led by Green Mountain, is partnering with Mercy Corps on new efforts to fight hunger and poverty among coffee farmers in NIcaragua. Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

In Aceh, Indonesia, more than 3,000 coffee-producing families are getting access to financial services and learning how to increase and manage their income. Mothers are going to support groups that teach them the benefits of breastfeeding and help them better address their children's health and nutrition needs. Decreased medical expenses and increased financial literacy are helping these families build a safety net of resources that can be tapped throughout the year, leading to greater resilience.

It's all part of a commitment by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) to prevent seasonal hunger and poverty in coffee growing regions throughout the world. The company is committed to understanding the real challenges that families in their value chain face, supporting work that addresses those challenges, and rallying other industry players to do the same in order to deepen their collective impact.

In addition to supporting our work in Indonesia, GMCR partners with Mercy Corps programs in Guatemala, Colombia, and Nicaragua.

While working with development organizations like Mercy Corps, GMCR has also played an important role in convening coffee industry leaders around the issue of food insecurity. In 2011, a group of industry leaders recognized that the issue was too widespread and complicated for any one company to tackle alone. This led leaders from five companies — Counter Culture Coffee, Farmer Brothers, GMCR, Starbucks Coffee Company and Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers — to come together to establish the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition (CFSC) in 2012.

The CFSC’s inaugural project is the three-year program "Empowering Food Secure Communities" in Nicaragua.

Mercy Corps and our long-time local partner Asociación “Aldea Global” Jinotega will work with 150 women and their families to improve farming and business techniques, develop additional sources of income through home gardens and diversified crop production, and engage more effectively with local government to provide assistance to the hungriest and most vulnerable families.

LEARN MORE: Food security in the coffeelands

Increased crop yields and diversified economic opportunities will support household consumption during the “thin months” — the months after the coffee harvest when resources are often depleted and coffee farming families face high levels of food insecurity. The farmers of Jinotega will also earn more income by selling surplus produce in the local market.

The engagement and dedication of the CFSC and of GMCR and other key industry players will pave the way for a future generation of coffee farmers who are well-equipped with the resources and tools they need for success, food security and well-being for themselves, their families and their communities.

Mercy Corps is proud to recognize the support and leadership of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in fighting hunger and poverty in the coffeelands and joining forces with other industry leaders for greater impact.