Amanda

Volunteering with Stop Hunger Now

Volunteerism is a key element of the culture at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR). We want our employees to feel engaged and volunteerism is one critical means of accomplishing that goal. Together, our Company and our people can make a difference within our communities, while simultaneously benefiting our business as a whole.

We incorporate volunteerism into events like our annual Employee Appreciation Day. This year, employees at three of our locations volunteered during employee appreciation events to package meals with a national non-profit, Stop Hunger Now.  Employees worked in teams to package meals that will be sent to hungry children and families all over the world.  The teams filled bags with food items, weighed them, added or removed rice to get them to a specific weight, sealed them, and carefully packaged them in boxes. Stop Hunger Now’s meal program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of two years and transports quickly. Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country.

216 GMCR employees helped package more than 65,000 meals during the three events. Employees whose volunteer shifts were over stayed for second shifts and their enthusiasm and hard work were noticed by the Stop Hunger Now staff. 

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Partnering for Health in Mexico

September 2013, Chiapas, Mexico. CES-supported social service physician Dr. Mercedes Aguerreberre listens to a woman's heart and lungs during a monthly mobile outreach visit to the remote town of Lagunita.

September 2013, Chiapas, Mexico. CES-supported social service physician Dr. Mercedes Aguerreberre listens to a woman's heart and lungs during a monthly mobile outreach visit to the remote town of Lagunita.

GMCR is proud to partner with a diverse range of organizations working to tackle the issues faced by farmers, workers, and families within our product supply chains.

Health and accessibility to adequate health care is a pressing issue for many of our coffee supply chain communities. In the quest to address this challenge, GMCR joined forces with Boston-based NGO Partners In Health by providing a three-year grant of $1,310,577 to support the work of Compañeros En Salud, their sister organization working in the Sierra region of Chiapas, Mexico.

The pictures below depict the project in action, showcasing the vital work Partners In Health carries forward in the coffeelands.

For more information on Partners In Health, please visit: www.pih.org.

Social Service physician and resident jointly examine a young patient

September 2012, Chiapas, Mexico. CES-supported social service physician Dr. Gabriela Chalup and family medicine resident Dr. Brea Bondi-Boyd work together to assess a young patient. Through CES' unique training and mentorship program, medical residents provide intensive one-on-one bedside teaching to social service physicians in rural clinics. 

Mexican and U.S. physician work together to place EKG leads

September 2012, Chiapas, Mexico. CES-supported social service physician Dr. Valeria Macias and GHE resident Dr. Patrick Elliott together place EKG leads in a primary care clinic. This diagnostic capability is rarely accessible outside of large cities or for no cost, and allows timely diagnosis of several cardiac conditions. Dr. Elliott is providing intensive bedside teaching to Dr. Macias through CES' unique training and mentorship program.

Social Service physician with a young girl

September 2012, Chiapas, Mexico. CES-supported social service physician Dr. Gabriela Chalup looks up from examining a young girl in the rural Plan de La Libertad primary care clinic. Plan de La Libertad is three hours by car from the nearest referral center.

 

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Supporting Our Troops and Honoring Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to those who serve our country.  Here at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) we honor our troops and we like to bring them a taste of home by providing coffee donations.  There’s a history of the military and their coffee; this article from The New York Times talks about it being their secret weapon.    

Fisher House is an organization that provides comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and veteran medical centers.  These homes enable family members of veterans to be close to their loved ones when the veterans are receiving in-hospital treatment for unexpected illness, disease, or injury.  GMCR provides a monthly coffee donation to over 20 Fisher House locations as well as several veterans hospitals.  Easy access to a good cup of coffee can be a small but meaningful comfort during the healing process.  The video below provides a great summary of Fisher House and their tremendous work.  

We also support active duty military personnel through a strategic partnership with an organization called Holy Joe’s Café.   Through this partnership we ship thousands of brewers and millions of K-Cup® packs to over 31 bases in combat zones.  Holy Joe’s Café provides coffee in a café-like setting where the troops can go for support from the Chaplains, listen to music on open mic nights, or just enjoy a great cup of Green Mountain Coffee®.

Our employees in Massachusetts often volunteer with Pease Greeters.  This group greets and thanks troops arriving and departing from Pease International Airport. 

We are proud to support our troops and veterans through these channels and believe these relationships help us get our coffee and brewers in the hands of more military personnel, and show our appreciation in the most equitable way possible.

In the words of Chaplin L. Ray, Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class USN, “I’ve learned it’s the little things that matter most.  It’s that hot mug of coffee, it’s that letter from home, it’s a hug and a shoulder to cry on.  That’s what matters the most.  And it’s so much more than a hot mug of coffee or tea, to me.  It’s my touch of home!”

Thank you to all those that serve, to your families, and to all who support our veterans.

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Lighting up the Haunted Forest

Over the past couple weeks employees from our Vermont locations got into the Halloween spirit through volunteering.

For the third year, employees in Vermont carved pumpkins for The Haunted Forest. The Haunted Forest is a non-profit event dedicated to producing a fun and exciting community Halloween event. The Forest is an event that combines outdoor theater, special effects, the magic of the night forest and the “spirit” of Halloween. Guests are led by mysterious guides through a dark forest path lined with over 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns and encounter characters performing Halloween-themed scenes. 

This year,  our employees helped pick and carve some of the pumpkins that lit the path through the forest. The Jack-o-lanterns were a great addition to the night shows at the Haunted Forest.  If you looked carefully you might have seen some of our night shift workers volunteering as actors in the Haunted Forest evening shows.  Overall the event was a great success this year!

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Safe Water, Food security, and Livelihoods for Coffee Growing Communities

Water Project in Nicaragua

Nicaragua, nestled in between Honduras and Costa Rica in Central America, is one of the countries in Latin America where GMCR sources coffee. Despite its abundant natural resources, one of Nicaragua’s challenges is access to clean, potable water.

In 2012, GMCR funded a water initiative with local Nicaraguan NGO    CII-ASDENIC entitled “Safe Water, food security, and livelihoods for coffee growing families and communities”. The grant, totaling nearly one million dollars will impact 859 families in 10 coffee growing communities in Northern Nicaragua over three years.  By supporting access to clean water, we are ensuring that farmers and families in these communities are able to lead healthier lives, absorbing the nutritional benefits provided by the food that they eat.

In the first month of the project, a strategic action plan was developed and a Potable Water and Sanitation Committee was formed (CAPS), both will help ensure the project’s sustainability past the 3 year GMCR support. Keeping on target with fortifying food security for 30% of participating families, 86 families have received home gardens and helped decide which types of produce will be grown.

Some upcoming activities we’ll be seeing from the project are construction of a drinking water system, training campaigns on nutrition, and school gardens implementation

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Over $540,000 in Grants to Knoxville Area Nonprofits

Turtle at Knoxville Zoo

As part of our dedication to supporting communities where we do business we have committed over $540,000 to 25 Knoxville-area non-profit organizations through our Employee Community Grantmaking program. 

Our Employee Community Grantmaking is led by employees, who work together with community leaders to identify and bring resources to the area’s most pressing issues.

GMCR’s production and distribution facility in Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the company’s 12 sites throughout North America.

Each GMCR site has its own focus areas that are specific to its community. Our grants help support the work, but to increase impact, we also strive to connect with our partners and local issues more directly through volunteerism and production donations as well. 

One of the largest of the grants in the Knoxville area, $35,000, went to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley to fund the Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders Program, which includes job training and career development for teens.

“The grant we received from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has produced great results for our teens in the Career Launch and Junior Staff programs,” said Lisa Hurst, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. “Many of our teens get their first job experience as Junior Staff and learn valuable skills in the process. The funding has helped us teach dozens of teens about career exploration, interview skills, and job expectations, so that they can prepare for their careers as adults.”

The remainder of the grants went to a variety of Knoxville-based organizations that support energy, youth, and educational issues, including:

Energy Use and Efficiency

  • Focus the Nation: $20,000 to promote energy literacy and leadership skills of UTK students.
  • Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center: $20,000 to support earth literacy programs focusing on energy efficiency and alternative energy.
  • Random Acts of Flowers: $4100 to enhance recycling efforts.

Youth and Community Support Services

  • African American Appalachian Arts: $10,000 to support workshops on African American culture, nutrition, and goal setting at the Kuumba Kamp for children.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee: $20,000 for mentoring 50 children in Knox County and East Tennessee.
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains: $28,700 to help teens prepare for their futures “real world” where they will have careers, budgets and responsibilities.
  • Children’s Center of the Cumberlands: $11,700 for medical examinations, therapeutic interventions, mentoring and medication management for at-risk youth.
  • Clearfork Community Institute: $25,000 for an intergenerational leadership program.
  • East TN Children’s Hospital: $10,000 for a community garden project designed to fight childhood obesity.
  • FISH Hospitality Pantries: $11,400 to support the Women’s Community School, the Mosaic Initiative, and Spanish/English cultural exchange.
  • Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries: $50,000 for “LaunchPoint” to help homeless men and women develop a life plan and the skills to achieve it.
  • Second Harvest: $9000 to provide backpacks of nutritious food every Friday to students at risk of going hungry over the weekend.
  • Volunteer Ministry Center: $25,000 for basic life skills training for homeless people.
  • YWCA Knoxville: $30,000 for educational workshops, life skills, and job-readiness counseling for women in transitional housing.

Access to Quality Education

  • Friends of Literacy: $10,000 for an adult reading program.
  • Friends of the Knox County Library: $15,000 to provide one new, age-appropriate book every month to 1250 Knox County children each year.
  • Goodwill Industries: $10,000 to support the Certified Nursing Assistant Training program.
  • Helen Ross McNabb Center: $6500 to purchase curricula for youth with severe mental and/or alcohol and drug issues.
  • Junior Achievement: $50,000 to support in-classroom programs and the Junior Achievement BizTown experience for 150 5th graders from Dogwood Elementary School.
  • Knoxville Area Urban League: $30,000 for a workforce/employment assistance program.
  • Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: $1000 for free, in-school music education concerts.
  • Knoxville Zoo: $35,100 for native pollinator gardens that serve as outdoor classrooms for five inner city elementary schools.
  • tnAchieves: $40,000 for matching funds to assist Jefferson and Claiborn County students pursue post-secondary education.
  • Tribe One: $15,000 for a six-week summer literacy program for children in grades K-6.
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Empowering Food Secure Communities

Coffeelands Food Security Project Participant

In 2012, six coffee companies - Counter Culture, Farmer Brothers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., S&D Coffee, Starbucks and Sustainable Harvest- joined forces to form the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition to address seasonal hunger in coffee growing communities.                                                       

Partnering with Mercy Corps and the Nicaraguan organization Aldea Global, a 3 year program known as  “Empowering Food Secure Communities” was launched that will target 150 women and their families to improve farming and business methods in order to support food security and healthier livelihoods in coffee growing communities.

In July, Rick Peyser, who leads the Supply Chain Outreach team focused on coffee and other agricultural products, visited the project in Jinotega, Nicaragua and had the opportunity to visit four different groups of women who had received small loans to launch their own businesses. This initiative was provided by Aldea Global’s Grupos de Desarollo Empresarial con Mujeres (GDEM) program, a part of the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition funded project.  The first two groups visited were women in their first loan cycle, and the last two groups visited were women in their third loan cycle.

The first visit was to Grupo Padre Odorico, a group of women growing lettuce and cucumbers. The women regularly monitored the market price via cellphone before agreeing to sell their product to a buyer, a clear sign of effective business management. Although the women are in the first loan cycle and still cautious about the success of their efforts, they were clearly pleased at the opportunity to have their own business.

The next group was also on their first loan cycle, consisting of 6 women focused on growing coffee on their own land thanks to the project. The women have obtained financing to purchase inputs like fertilizer, foliar spray, seedlings, and other items needed to fight La Roya epidemicLand ownership for women is not common, and having a title to their land will provide them with many benefits, including the ability to obtain loans, since their land can serve as required collateral.  Although the group is new, they are clearly gaining confidence and self-esteem.

The third group visited was Agua Viva, a group of 5 women in their third loan cycle. Once again, the clear difference in confidence levels between these women in their third loan cycle and women in their first loan cycle was evident. These women were very motivated to grow their small businesses with a focus on producing tamales, buying/selling fish, and producing grains. The income obtained from their businesses was helpful in diversifying the family’s livelihoods in order to protect them from shocks to the coffee market that may affect their income. As each loan cycle was repaid, the women were once again eligible to receive more credit to expand their businesses. The credit is accompanied by training on cash flow management for the women provided by Aldea Global.

The last group visited was Mujeres Agriculturas. The group, also in their third loan cycle and with a similar magnitude of motivation, grew corn and squash to sell into the local market. Pleased by their progress and showcasing confidence, the women were already planning new crops they would plant. This project also provided their families with additional income from crops other than coffee.

The visit also provided Rick with insight into the credit process, which took into account each participant’s cash flow, assets, and activities at the household level, in order to determine the right loan amount to be granted.

The visit to the projects was a powerful opportunity to see the ongoing work of the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition‘s first project, and to understand the key challenges and opportunities in establishing long-term sustainability and growth. Most importantly, the project is empowering participants to provide healthier livelihoods for their families

Learn more about the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition and the battle against season hungry in the coffeelands at: http://www.mercycorps.org/tags/coffeelands

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Harvesting with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

GMCR Employees Volunteering at VYCC (Photo by Kristopher Crown)

                                      (Photo by GMCR Employee Kristopher Crown)

Recently a group of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) employees spent the day at one of our grantees Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) to harvest, wash, and pack fresh vegetables from the VYCC gardens in Richmond, Vermont to support a commonly shared goal – food security for all.

The employees worked to harvest enough onions, carrots, dill, basil, eggplant, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables to fill 230 boxes for the VYCC’s weekly Health Care Share. Through the Health Care Share in-season food is donated to families that don’t have access to locally grown fresh food.  Health Care Shares are distributed weekly from VYCC to area hospitals from July through September.

Volunteering at the VYCC gave our employees an appreciation for how much work it takes to get food from the ground onto the table. Without the help of volunteers, the VYCC could not donate the amount of food they do now. 

When employees volunteer for organizations that we support through our Employee Community Grant Program it results in more meaningful relationships with these local nonprofit organizations.

Watch the video below to learn more about Vermont Youth Conservation Corps' work:

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Goat-Raising Center in Guatemala Opens

Isabella feeds a goat at Save the Children's goat center in Guatemala.

Earlier this month the sleepy Mayan village of Aldea El Paraiso in the Guatemalan Quiché highlands was buzzing with action during an opening ceremony of a new goat-raising center, hosted by the non-profit organization Save the Children in partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The center is part of a goat milk program designed to help chronically malnourished children get the key nutrients they need to be healthy and grow. 

Maria with Goat Milk from Save the Children's Goat-Raising Center

“One of the worst places in the world for chronic child malnutrition is not found in the brown deserts of Africa, but in the green mountains of Latin America,” said Carlos Carrazana, Save the Children’s Chief Operating Officer. “In Guatemala, nearly one in two children under the age of 5 is chronically malnourished, meaning they don't get enough of the right kinds of food each day to fuel their growing brains and bodies.”  
 
Among indigenous populations in rural parts of El Quiché, the situation is even worse.  The region’s lush, rolling hills mask a hidden hunger crisis affecting 72 percent of its children under 5.  That’s why Save the Children, with support from GMCR and USAID, has opened the goat-raising center to offer milk as a source of protein for malnourished children in the region.
 
The center currently houses 85 goats (it has capacity for 300) and will serve 115 surrounding communities. Over the next three to five years, 2,200 families and more than 3,500 children will benefit from the goat center.  In addition to providing milk for children, the program teaches families how to generate income year-round by raising goats and other farm animals, selling surplus milk, and making cheese and yogurt. 
 
Programs like this support our work to create a Resilient Supply Chain
 
Help Save the Children reach children in Guatemala and all over the world by donating today.
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Preventing Cervical Cancer in Coffee Communities

Grounds for Health is a non-profit organization based in Waterbury, Vermont that focuses on cervical cancer prevention awareness. Cervical cancer remains the #1 cause of cancer related death for women in low-resource settings, although it is nearly 100% preventable. In October 2011, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters awarded Grounds for Health a three-year grant totaling $900,000 to support projects in collaboration with coffee cooperatives in Nicaragua, Mexico, Tanzania and Peru to tackle the dangerously high rate of cervical cancer in these regions.

Grounds for Health has been able to reach women without access to appropriate health services and by partnering with local organizations. They train local community health promoters as well as provide local doctors and nurses with equipment and technical assistance.

Grounds for Health’s efforts are part of a growing movement worldwide to prevent cervical cancer and increase awareness on prevention methods.

Grounds from Health unveiled the video below at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Conference in April:

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Streamline Restoration with the Intervale Conservation Nursery

GMCR Employees volunteering at Intervale Conservation Nursery

The weather in Vermont the past few weeks has been wet. So wet that Lake Champlain and many rivers are at or above flood level. It is events like this that remind us of the importance of streamline work like that done by the Intervale Conservation Nursery.

 In early June, the employees working in the Specialty Coffee Category Team based in Waterbury volunteered at the Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington, VT.  The team spent the day planting Silky Dogwood and Black Willow seedlings that will eventually be used in riparian restoration projects.  Tree growth along riverbanks helps greatly reduce pollution in rivers which then flows into Lake Champlain.  Riverbanks without trees suffer from decreased soil quality due to run off of topsoil.  Trees can also help to filter phosphate pollution that can create algae blooms in the lake.

The team activity was planned by Lesley Graham, a Waterbury CAFE Captain.  CAFE Captains are employees who are passionate about volunteering and want to share that with others by planning their own volunteer activities.  Lesley connected with the Intervale to determine what they needed help with, recruited her team to participate in the activity, and coordinated all aspects of the day.  The team enjoyed their experience so much that they plan on going in the fall to plant mature native species along the riverbanks; Lesley is planning that activity too!  Many GMCR employees have also volunteered with Intervale over the years and they greatly appreciate the support of all our employees.

GMCR Employees Volunteering at Intervale Conservation Nursery

The Intervale Conservation Nursery has been a grant recipient of the Vermont Employee Community Grant Program for the past two years.  This year, our grant of $31,000 supports expanded volunteer and educational opportunities at the Nursery, the creation of an onsite outdoor classroom, and the growth of local trees and shrubs for riparian restoration projects in Vermont. 

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A New Understanding: My First Attendance at the SCAA

The post below is by Claudia Gonzalez. Claudia works in on our Supply Chain Community Outreach.

Claudia Gonzalez at the Food 4 Farmers booth at SCAA

"Not long ago, I began my journey in the high quality coffee world.  Always having been a coffee enthusiastic, it wasn’t until I joined Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. last year that I began to emerge myself on what it means to drink a high quality cup of coffee. From the moment the coffee cherry ripens to the time it reaches our customer’s hands, it takes a long chain of events and people to make it all come together.

I work with the supply chain community outreach group providing human and economic development financial support to our coffee and non-coffee supply chains.  As such, I am learning more and more about the challenges coffee farmers face, in particular during the “the thin months”, a time when food and other economic resources becomes scarce in the coffeelands.

In April 2013, I had the opportunity to attend the 25th annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference in Boston, Ma. The conference is the world’s largest gathering of the high quality coffee community.

The experience was grand; there was so much to take in all at once, the aroma of coffees from a multitude of countries at my fingertips, the most highly skilled of baristas, most importantly a community full of knowledge on high quality coffee, and interested in finding out more about the challenges coffee farmers in the coffee supply chain face.

As such, the conference was a suitable opportunity to attain more awareness on the pressing issues within coffee growing communities. In particular, what helped to build some of my new knowledge and awareness was the opportunity to speak to many of our coffee’s producers and hear directly from them some of the pressing issues in their communities. 

A dominant theme I heard throughout the conference was la roya; a coffee rust fungus epidemic that affects Arabica coffee bean leaves and it’s currently spreading throughout Latin American coffee growing countries. For instance, in Guatemala, it is estimated to affect up to 70% of coffee crops, thus resulting in the government calling a state of emergency.

The SCAA held several informative workshops for the conference’s participants, quite a few based around food security and la roya. One particular workshop based on la roya, Leaf Rust: Testing our Resiliency as an Industry was an informative session into what la roya means for small scale coffee farmers and the high quality coffee industry. 

Other workshop themes throughout the conference were food insecurity within small scale coffee farmers, coffee farmers and industry sustainability efforts and productivity for coffee production.

Attending the SCAA’s conference meant being present in a space where I could see the coffee supply chain play out all before my eyes, from the farmers that first harvest and picked the coffee cherries to the baristas that whip out the most inventive of designs.  This experience is not one to be missed for coffee lovers."

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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Named Business Leader in Energy Efficiency

Photo of GMCR's Plant in Essex, VT (Photo by Alex Eshelman)

(Photo by Alex Eshelman)

We are proud to share that we've has been named a 2013 “Northeast Business Leader for Energy Efficiency”.  We were nominated by Efficiency Vermont, and are being honored for our efforts that reduced our yearly energy costs by more than $725,000. The award is given annually by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), a non-profit energy efficiency advocacy organization, to highlight the energy-saving achievements of organizations throughout the region.

“We are proud to recognize GMCR for their success and commitment to energy efficiency,” said Sue Coakley, Executive Director of NEEP. “GMCR provides an excellent example of how energy saving investments can improve a company’s bottom line, contribute to economic growth, and reduce environmental impact.”

We were selected for recognition for our efficient approaches to lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and industrial process equipment in its Waterbury, Essex, and Williston plants and for construction of our facility in South Burlington. In addition, we are being honored for our ongoing monitoring of energy use, to maintain continuous awareness of building and equipment performance.

“GMCR has shown a strong commitment to energy efficiency – not just in its buildings but also in every facet of its operations,” said Jim Merriam, Director of Efficiency Vermont. “We are proud to be a longstanding partner of GMCR, and we look forward to supporting their continuing innovation and success.”

“Our exceptional growth rate over the past five years has provided us with a great opportunity to create systems and buildings that are both functional and energy efficient,” said Mick Muscat, Facilities Engineering Manager for GMCR. “We are extremely fortunate that the company supports these dual objectives. With this support, we are able to significantly increase our energy efficiency.”

We will be recognized, along with winners from neighboring states, in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 18-19, 2013 at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit. The gathering brings together regional leaders in public policy, business, energy efficiency, and consumer and environmental advocacy to advance energy efficiency as the leading clean energy resource for the Northeast.

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Pueblo a Pueblo receives Sustainability Award during 25th Annual SCAA Conference

April 2013 marked the 25th annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference; the largest specialty coffee conference in the world which recently took place in Boston.

Amongst the event’s highlights was the work of Pueblo a Pueblo, a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of indigenous Guatemalans and this year’s recipient of the Sustainability Award in recognition of their Organic School Garden project in Guatemala. The award honors individuals and organizations, within the specialty coffee industry, working to create substantial positive change through projects that promote sustainability.

GMCR proudly partners with Pueblo a Pueblo and has supported the Organic School Garden project in Guatemala for over 2 years. The project seeks to improve the lives of those living in coffee growing communities in Guatemala though strengthening food security at the household level and diminishing malnutrition levels for school-aged children.

In 2012, 1,151 children attended weekly garden activities and 86 teachers and directors received trainings on organic agriculture techniques. This project has been complimented by school initiatives, including incorporation of the produce harvested from the organic school gardens into school lunches.  In addition, the provision of a daily meal has increased school attendance, students’ learning capability and improvement in the overall health of participating children resulting from the increased diversity of food in their diet.

Below is a video which highlights their great work in Guatemala

For all their admirable work and tremendous positive change created in Guatemala, we congratulate Pueblo a Pueblo on their Sustainability Award.

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Sharing the Comforts of Home this Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in service. As we enjoy the day today, I know I will also be thinking about those men and women who are not with us. 

In addition to remembering the fallen soldiers, here at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters we also want to honor our active duty soldiers. I’m sure many of you have heard from service men and women the importance of coffee while in the field; especially good coffee. It is a comfort from home and a small luxury while on duty.

We’ve worked with Holy Joe’s Café since 2007 to provide that taste of home. Through Holy Joe’s we donate coffee to be served at bases and in military hospitals in a café setting. At these cafés soldiers can relax and talk with peers and seek council with their Chaplain over a cup of coffee.

We receive many testimonials about the power of coffee to bring people together and to comfort in these strenuous settings. As Chaplain L. Ray, Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class USN said, “I’ve learned it’s the little things that matter most.  It’s that hot mug of coffee, it’s that letter from home, it’s a hug and a shoulder to cry on.  That’s what matters the most.  And it’s so much more than a hot mug of coffee or tea, to me.  It’s my touch of home!”

This morning over my cup of coffee, I’m thankful of the work of Chaplain L. Ray and all our service men and women. Happy Memorial Day!

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Rebuilding a Primary Health Care System in Rural Mexico

 

Doctor with Patient in Chiapas

Below is an except from Partners In Health around their and sister organization Compañeros En Salud (CES) work in southeast Chiapas. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc, (GMCR) is funding this project to revitalize a primary health care system in the long-neglected region.

" “I didn’t know what to expect,” Dr. Abelardo Vidaurreta says. “I didn’t know where I was going.”

Such uncertainties were rare for the 27 year old. But after finishing medical school at Tecnológico De Monterrey, an elite university that produces some of Mexico’s finest physicians, Vidaurreta ditched the urban commodities he was accustomed to and went to work with Partners In Health’s sister organization Compañeros En Salud (CES) in southeast Chiapas. It’s among the poorest and most isolated regions in Mexico, nestled at the tip of the country along the Guatemalan border. 

The move wasn’t entirely impulsive. In Mexico, newly graduated medical students are required to spend a year working in a public health clinic to earn their professional license. Often they’re assigned to far-flung outposts with few resources and even less oversight. This baptism-by-fire approach can be overwhelming. It can also be frustrating, especially for the community members who are left seeking medical care from a rotating cast of fresh-faced doctors who’ll stick around for only a year. 

Vidaurreta had heard of CES when his social service year arrived, but he didn’t know much about the group, let alone its plans to revitalize a primary health care system in a long-neglected region. Doubts loomed when he agreed last February to be among the first doctors to spend a year working alongside CES in Chiapas.

“I thought I was going into the jungle,” Vidaurreta says. “I thought I was going to be alone.”

Now, as CES—whose work is supported by Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters—celebrates its first anniversary and more than 10,000 patient consultations, Vidaurreta jokes that he was wrong on both counts. The landscape is more Martian than jungle, marked by towering mountains and a startling lack of infrastructure. And while he would encounter countless challenges in the field, he wasn’t going to be tackling them alone.  A core mission of CES is to alleviate that daunting sense of solitude by pairing the new doctors, known as pasantes, with resident physicians from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

“They’re doing all the work,” says Dr. Patrick Newman, 29, one of the first resident physicians from Brigham and Women’s to take part in the program. “But we see their consults with them, answer their questions, help guide their thinking, help to challenge their thinking, and encourage their ongoing growth.” Newman is quick to point out that the exchange of insight flows both ways. For instance, he recalls visiting a family whose newborn had a cleft palate. His instinct was to hospitalize the baby, insert a feeding tube, and perform surgery when the child reached an appropriate weight—standard procedure in the U.S. 

“That was my first suggestion. But it was obvious after talking with the pasante and visiting the family that doing so would result in absolute and total financial ruin for the family,” Newman says.  “You have to understand that there are cultural aspects to care that the pasantes are going to understand better than we ever will.”

In the area where CES works, patients might travel more than an hour for a simple blood test. Getting to a hospital could take half a day. And though there are brick-and-mortar clinics, it’s been years in most cases since a full-fledged physician has staffed one. To make sure the pasantes are equipped to provide the best possible care in this difficult setting, they receive monthly visits from CES staff and attend regular workshops.In the area where CES works, patients might travel more than an hour for a simple blood test. Getting to a hospital could take half a day. And though there are brick-and-mortar clinics, it’s been years in most cases since a full-fledged physician has staffed one. To make sure the pasantes are equipped to provide the best possible care in this difficult setting, they receive monthly visits from CES staff and attend regular workshops."

To read the full article with images, visit Partners In Health's website

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Students Leaders and Energy Literacy in Tennessee

Grants from the Employee Community Grant program support projects and solutions that take a whole-systems approach, are multidisciplinary in planning and execution, and are designed to solve problems and not just respond to them. One of our Knoxville facility's focus areas for their Employee Community Grant Program is Energy Use and Efficiency.

This year, Knoxville awarded a financial grant to Focus the Nation to fund a Green Revolving Fund on the University of Tennessee Knoxville Campus. This support will develop two new student leaders and support those leaders to build a team to implement the Green Revolving Fund. This grant will promote energy literacy and leadership development skills of the students involved. 

We are proud to support programs like this that focus on developing leaders in environmental stewardship. 

This Earth Week, how are you developing your energy efficiency knowledge and leadership?

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Sustainability in Our Operations and Products

We believe that our products can be sourced, designed, and manufactured in ways that are good for people and good for the environment. We strive for balance in the way we engineer our 

products. We engage with players throughout our value chain to understand the social and environmental impacts of our business and our industry.  In addition, as a leader in beverages with a positive social impact — particularly Fair Trade coffee — we can encourage consumers to use their purchasing power to support more sustainable products across the entire beverage industry.

During fiscal 2012, we worked to reduce waste and and energy. We continued to make progress toward our reduction targets for energy use and waste to landfill, even as our business growth has challenged those efforts. We have coupled our support of coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms with consumer education campaigns that demonstrate the benefits for farmers and for the environment using a model that generates consumer demand for certified coffees. 

As our business grows, we hold fast to our belief that our responsibility is to create sustainable products that help us to brew a better world.

Some other key accomplishments include:

  • More than tripling the amount of waste chaff, burlap, coffee, powder, and tea that we composted, and increased recycling of corrugated boxes, boxboard, paper, and plastics by 50% in its facilities, compared to the previous year.
  • Being ranked the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee in the world for the second year running by Fair Trade USA (2010, 2011)
  • Selling 11 million pounds of coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms
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20,000 Coffee Farming Families Receive Food Security Support

 

Coffee Farming Family

We often talk about our financial support of projects within our coffee growing communities. Those communities are just one of the communities throughout our supply chain. Our other supply chains include apple growing communities and manufacturing communities to name just a few. We are working to build a Resilient Supply Chain - helping the producers and manufacturers in our supply chain, as well as their employees and wider communities, to adapt to the many challenges they face and to prosper over the short term and the long term.

Resilence, at its most basic level, refers to an ability to adapt quickly to, or recover from, changes. We also strive to address more complex social and environmental challenges. We commit to long-term relationships that sustain healthier communities and create the highest-quality products — whether we are helping our suppliers keep pace with our Company’s continued growth or financially assisting partner organizations to develop new programs for coffee farmers to better support their families.

Focus Areas for Supply Chain Projects

Highlights from our Fiscal 2012 Report include:

-Over $10 million in funding to projects in over 12 countries within our Supply Chain Communities.

-An estimated 20,000 families have received food security support from GMCR-funded programs

-Funding of our first U.S.-based non-coffee supply chain project in apple-growing communities in Yakima, Wash.

To explore the full Fiscal 2012 Sustainability Report, visit www.gmcr.com/sustainability

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8th Annual Sustainability Report Now Live!

We are excited to announce the release if our eighth annual sustainability report, outlining our environmental and social performance for fiscal 2012. The report details the our long-standing commitment to sustainability and unveils a new focus on three specific practice areas: Resilient Supply Chain, Sustainable Products, and Thriving People and Communities.

In the report, we announce that purchases of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees represented over 50 million pounds, or five million more pounds than fiscal 2011. In 2011, Fair Trade USA ranked GMCR the largest purchaser of Fair Trade CertifiedTM coffee in the world for the second year running.

We delivered a 46% increase in net sales in 2012 while also improving energy efficiency, recycling more waste, and reducing the proportion of waste sent to the landfill. Highlights of the fiscal 2012 report include:

  • - We more than tripled the amount of waste chaff, burlap, coffee, powder, and tea that it composted, and increased recycling of corrugated boxes, boxboard, paper, and plastics by 50% in its facilities, compared to the previous year.
  • - Over $10 million in grant money was allocated to supply-chain communities, including food security projects for over 20,000 coffee-farming families around the world.
  • - The Company maintained an employee retention rate of approximately 90%.
  • - Sixty-five percent of full-time employees volunteered through a company-sponsored program called Café Time, which allows employees up to 52 paid hours per year to volunteer.

 

The report also highlights our goals for fiscal 2013, which include continuing financial support for projects addressing food security in coffee-growing communities, increasing the sourcing of sustainable coffees, and further reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

 

Read the full Sustainability report our website at www.gmcr.com/sustainability.

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