New funding from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. and Hanns R.
Neumann Stiftung expands successful four-year program by reaching
rural coffee producers in Western Highland departments
PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the
global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps are pleased to announce the
addition of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) and Hanns R.
Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) in an alliance to improve the
lives of small-scale farmers and their families in Guatemala. The
alliance, known as the Inclusive Market Alliance for Rural Entrepreneurs
(IMARE), is part of the U.S. Government's Feed the Future Presidential
Initiative that supports Guatemala's "Zero Hunger Pact" to significantly
reduce the high rates of poverty and chronic malnutrition that
characterize the Western Highland region of the country.
The public-private alliance supports community-based interventions that
allow rural agriculture producers to overcome barriers and access larger
commercial markets. Evidence demonstrates that this support enables
small scale farmers to increase their household food and nutritional
"We have seen the power of this alliance create tremendous opportunities
for small-scale farmers to become productive and prosperous
entrepreneurs," said Peter Loach, Mercy Corps Country Director for
Guatemala. "We are thrilled to be able to expand this project to now
meet the needs of vulnerable coffee producers and their families in the
According to a United Nations World Food Program study, Guatemala has
the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America and the fourth
highest in the world. Rural small-scale farmers in Guatemala face
multiple obstacles to access profitable markets for their products and
often lack the tools and knowledge to improve their family's nutrition.
This alliance uses a multi-pronged approach that not only tackles rural
poverty but also raises community awareness around the importance of a
diversified diet and good nutrition practices.
"GMCR is a believer in the power of public-private partnerships and
their ability to enlist needed resources to overcome some of the
developing world's greatest challenges. We are pleased to join USAID in
supporting this Mercy Corps project in Guatemala that seeks to provide
small-scale coffee farmers with better market access as they attempt to
diversify their sources of income," said Rick Peyser, GMCR's Director of
Social Advocacy and Supply Chain Community Outreach.
The three-year grant from GMCR will expand the alliance to work with 500
coffee farming families to improve nutrition as well as agricultural
production and business management techniques. Farmers will participate
in tailored educational sessions on safe handling of pesticides, use of
new varieties, seed spacing, water and social conservation, and best
practices for storage and handling. They will also receive training and
technical assistance in nutrition, climate change and gender balance as
a best practice.
GMCR's financial support also helps leverage matching funds from USAID's
Global Development Alliance for public-private partnerships. According
to Mark Visocky, Director of the Office of Economic Growth at USAID
Guatemala, "the alliance with GMCR brings substantial resources to bear
in Guatemala for the Feed the Future Initiative and brings us all closer
to the goal of reducing chronic malnutrition and poverty in the Western
Highlands. USAID Guatemala welcomes and encourages new alliances with
the private sector to assist the people of the Western Highlands escape
the cycle of poverty and malnutrition that has plagued the region for
Mercy Corps will also work in close coordination with HRNS, an expert
implementer in the coffee value chain, to improve the principal
livelihood activity of coffee farmers in an efficient and sustainable
way. Through matching funds from HRNS the alliance will support an
additional 300 coffee-producing families to improve production, natural
resource management, and economic returns in their coffee systems.
Trainings aim to provide the tools necessary to help farmers increase
profitable sales and lift themselves out of poverty.
"Coffee makes up a significant share of family income in these
communities," says Verena Fischersworring from HRNS. Her colleague Mauro
García adds "Improving the returns to coffee farming — especially in
combination with improved on-farm food production and household
nutrition — thus forms an essential component of any strategy to improve
Since 2008, USAID and Mercy Corps have supported rural, poor and
subsistence farmers to compete in the larger commercial markets for
fresh fruits and vegetables. In the past, USAID and Mercy Corps have
partnered with Wal-Mart and Vibrant Villages as well as other private
sector entities, which benefited 1,800 farmers in one of the poorest
areas of Central America. Through this alliance, nearly 900 new jobs
were created and a strong foundation was built for women to contribute
to their households and communities. Of the new jobs created during the
program's first three years, 25% were held by women. After the first
three years, producer groups increased their net earnings by an average
of 59% and boosted their sales to formal markets by $1.2 million.
About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR)
As a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, Green Mountain
Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is recognized for its award-winning
coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible
business practices. GMCR supports local and global communities by
offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in
sustainably-grown coffee, and allocating a portion of its pre-tax
profits to socially and environmentally responsible initiatives.
About Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS)
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) is a not-for-profit
foundation based in Hamburg, Germany that was founded by the Neumann
Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) and the Neumann family, one of the largest coffee
trading companies in the world. HRNS is an implementing
foundation that partners with private coffee and cocoa companies and
donor institutions to implement sustainable economic development
projects to benefit smallholder coffee and cocoa producers. HRNS
currently implements 24 projects in 14 different countries that reach
upwards of 100,000 coffee and cocoa farmers and their families.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps helps people turn the crises they confront into the
opportunities they deserve. Driven by local needs, our programs provide
communities in the world's toughest places with the tools and support
they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team in
41countries is improving the lives of 19 million people. For more
information, see mercycorps.org.
Since 1961, the United States Agency for International Development
has provided economic and humanitarian assistance through its
development programs in every region of the world and currently works
with government, private sector and civil society in more than 80
countries around the world. See: www.usaid.gov
for more information on our programs and development partners.
Lindsay Murphy, 503-896-5700
Source: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
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