Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Changing Climate Change Grant Finalists Announced!

About a month back, we announced a new grantmaking program as part of our Changing Climate Change Initiative.


We received over 100 applications from all over the world for this program. 


This past week, we met to evaluate the applications and identify finalists in each of the four categories:  Empowering Individual Action, Building Political Will, Threats to Coffee-Growing Communities, and Transportation-Related Emissions. 


Our evaluation consisted of assessments of each proposal based on the factors enumerated in the RFP, including:

·         Core Proposal Quality: goal, execution plan, initiative scalability, strength of metrics, and communications plan;

·         Evidence of Prior Success and Achievement;

·         Organizational Strength and Readiness; and

·         Quality of Resources available to help GMCR improve its carbon footprint.


We also took into account the tremendous amount of voting and commenting we received for each proposal at our micro-site on


Unfortunately, there were many deserving and innovative programs which we were not able to select as finalists.  We want to thank all the applicants for their on this important issue and for their submissions.


On Friday, we notified the finalists and reposted their proposal synopses to for additional comments and votes. 


Here are the finalist organizations:


Empowering Individual Action

·         Focus the Nation

·         National Parks Conservation Association

·         Resource Innovation Group

·         VEIC


Building Political Will

·         Ceres

·         1Sky

·         Energy Action Coalition

·         Green America


Threats to Coffee-Growing Communities

·         CIAT / CRS

·         Community Agroecology Network

·         Sustainable Harvest

·         American Bird Conservancy

·         Dickey Center for International Understanding, Dartmouth College


Transportation-Related Emissions

·         New England Transportation Institute

·         Commuter Challenge

·         Smart Trips

·         Natural Resources Defense Council


Let us know what you think – either here or at!




Welcome Tully's Coffee

If you haven't had a chance to see today's press release yet, it's final!  GMCR's acquisition of the Tully's Coffee brand and wholesale coffee business is complete!  See press release.  Tully's Coffee is an excellent addition to our coffee roasting family because it's a complementary and strong West Coast brand and business.  We're excited about this new opportunity and will be talking a lot more about our plans to grow the Tully's Coffee brand in the near future.  For now, Welcome! 
GMCR Welcomes Tully's Coffee
GMCR Welcomes Tully's Coffee

Colombian Fair Trade Select - Temporarily Unavailable

You may have already heard that Colombian Fair Trade Select is temporarily unavailable due to climate conditions (lots of rain) combined with significant increase in world wide demand. Rest assured, we will be bringing in new stock just as soon as possible, and we’ll be keeping you informed.  In the meantime, you have a great reason to try some of our other delicious Fair Trade Certified™ coffees.

 For bag buyers, try one of these great coffees: Fair Trade Kenyan Highland Cooperatives, Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend or Fair Trade Heifer Hope Blend .

For K-Cup buyers, now is the time to try some of our other deliciously notable coffees Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend or Fair Trade Heifer Hope Blend.

For our ‘Regular’ Sampler Box of K-Cups we are substituting our best-selling Breakfast Blend until Colombian Fair Trade Select is available again.

If you are a Café Express Member and would like to order a different coffee, or add coffees to your recurring order, please contact Customer Care and speak with one of our Customer Care Reps at 888-350-KCUP (5287). Or login to your account online, then click ‘My Account” to manage your recurring Orders.  


Compost is King Update

About 2 months ago, I wrote about a compost facility just getting under way in Peru. (Read it here).

The coop - Chirinos - just sent us some pictures and it's definitely on its way:

The Compost Facility at Chirinos in Northern Peru


Top O' The Morning To You

We ran this ad in yesterday's Boston Globe...but we think the sentiment is far more universal!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day Banner


You Drinking Our Coffee Helps Their Kids go to School

Imagine a young girl in Mexico, named Juanita. She’s in third grade, loves school and her friends call her Juanita “Bonita” because she always tries to wear bright, flowery, colorful shirts. Her Dad thinks she God’s gift to the planet. She’s not a real person, but stay with me here.

You might not know this, but in a lot of coffee producing parts of the world, including Mexico, you have to pay to go to school. You might not know this either, but coffee farmers often don’t make a lot of money. In Dad’s case, he has a lot of kids, and his coffee trees are so old, they don’t produce as much coffee as they used to, so he has less money to go around. So you can imagine how hard it was to tell Juanita Bonita the bad news.

He takes his hat off. “M’ija, ven”.  Daughter, come over here

He tells her the sad news, and of course she’s devastated.

Over time, she gets used to not being at school. Her cousins share books sometimes. She’s good at picking coffee and helping Dad. When Abuela isn’t watching her soaps on TV, she changes the channel to something where she can learn. One day this past January, right in the middle of the harvest, when Dad had so many coffee cherries to bring to the mill, she rode in the truck for two hours with some of her cousins and Dad on the bumpy road, all in the front seat. Over endless speed bumps, thru noisy little towns with locals on their bicycles weaving in and out of the road. The rosary beads swing back and forth on the rear view mirror. The truck is so old Dad has to hold onto his door handle on right hand turns so that the door doesn’t fly open and deposit him rudely in the dirt.

After he dropped off the coffee at the mill and Dad got his little ticket with the amount and type of coffee he turned in, he drove them around the block to the coop office to fill out some coop paperwork. Dad can’t read, so he gives Juanita a treat by asking her to come and help and not her cousins. She needs help out of the big truck, but as soon as her feet touch the ground, she runs into the coop office far ahead of Dad, smack into a sign in the foyer in with big letters at the top : “New Scholarships Available – Producer’s Children Only.” She’s not sure what a scholarship is – but she sees a picture of lots of kids at desks at a school, smiling. Dad’s not paying attention, he’s shaking hands with fellow coop members in the office. It takes her a little bit to get his attention, but she does finally. She has to read the announcement to him. It takes a second, but of course he realizes what this means. So when he starts smiling and picks her up and hugs her, she’s pretty sure she’ll be back in school. At a desk. Smiling.

Now, there’s no Juanita. But there is a scholarship program funded by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and the Huatusco coop that funds 80 students from over 30 communities. Along with funding for school, the program will provide the students with support for medical visits at the local clinic and host three events per year to motivate the students, involve the parents and coop board members in the program, and stress the importance of education. So please keep drinking our coffee so kids like Juanita can keep going to school.


Fair Trade Spring Seasonal coffees

Springtime is nearly here and what better way to kick-off this refreshing season than with your favorite springtime coffees? Our two limited edition spring coffees, Island Coconut® and Spring Revival™ Blend, are delicious when served hot or as an iced beverage.


If you are making these coffees hot try mixing them up with hot cocoa for a twist. If you are making them iced, then try adding some chocolate milk. The perfect splash for the spring season!


The best way to ensure you get every one of your favorite seasonal flavored coffees is to join the
Seasonal Flavors Coffee Tour. We will send you two bags or boxes of each of the following flavors:

  • Winter — Golden French Toast

  • Spring — Island Coconut

  • Summer — The Perfect Peach -NEW for 2009!

  • Fall — Pumpkin Spice

  • Holiday — Spicy Eggnog


Three-pack of Reusable Bags

su093pkbabwbags1There is no denying it, reusable bags are all the rage right now. They are convenient, stylish, and of course they are more eco-friendly than using paper or plastic. Here at Green Mountain Coffee, we decided to create a reusable bag for our Better World Gift Basket. We received so many compliments and requests to sell the bags as a separate item, we just had to oblige. Now our Better World Reusable Shopping Bag is available as a three-pack on our website and in our catalog.


I use mine for shopping, or just to carry stuff while running errands (you know-- because my purse is never big enough to carry everything!). It is also the perfect size for carrying your Keurig Mini Brewer with a few boxes of K-Cups.


Let us know how you use yours!


Economic Opportunities for Children of Coffee Farmers through Fundacion Ixil


Last week I traveled to San Gaspar Chajul, home of Asocacion Chajulense, a small scale coffee growing community in Guatemala. 

San Gaspar Chajul, is one of 21 municipalities in the Department of El Quiche.  It is also one of the 10 poorest municipalities in Guatemala.  Like small scale coffee farmers in other regions and countries, the coffee farmers in Chajul pass their most valuable possession, their land, on to their children.  With each successive generation, the land holdings shrink in size to the point when they are no longer economically sustainable.  Families in Chajul and surrounding communities are facing this challenge today.  This situation leaves little opportunity or incentive for young people who wish to stay in the area.  Many migrate seasonally to do other agricultural work within Guatemala.  Others move to nearby urban centers or to the U.S. in search of better economic opportunities. The average daily income in the area is less than $2 per day.


In Chajul, 56% of the population has had no schooling, and only 14% have reached the 6th grade.  In 2002 the illiteracy rate was 65%. 


In 1997, Chajul, with the support of Asociacion Chajulense, opened the Batzul Center of Development (Centro de Desarrollo Batzul), in a facility about 4 miles outside of  the center of Chajul, that provided elementary education.  The school gave priority to the sons and daughters of small scale coffee farmers, with the goal of helping them complete the primary grades. In 2004 there was an effort to establish a private secondary school at the site.  In 2005, this was approved by the Ministry of Education, and it continued operation until 2007.


During restructuring of the organization, they decided to focus on primary education, withdrawing their support of the secondary school. Despite this, Asociacion Chajulense remained concerned about the educational opportunities available for youth and families in the area. It was critical that the Asociacion and the community invest in the education of future generations, because it could help families emerge from the extreme poverty in the area. The co-op decided to offer its support to the establishment of an organization that would promote social development, including education, in the Ixil Triangle, the area located between the communities of San Gaspar Chajul, Nebaj, and Cotzal. The Ixil Triangle suffered through a campaign of genocide in the 1980's and was one of the most heavily affected areas during the country's civil war. The organization that was conceived has been named Fundacion Ixil. 



Late last fall, Carlos Murillo, a friend and supplier to GMCR, asked me to serve on the Board of Founders for Fundacion Ixil.  Over the past few years, GMCR has made a commitment to the area in terms of coffee purchases, support for technical assistance to improve organic farmers' yields, and support of a weaving cooperative to provide the wives and daughters of coffee farmers with an alternative source of income.  Given our commitment to the area, I accepted the invitation from Carlos and went down for the founding meeting of Fundacion Ixil.  


During the meeting Carlos outlined the concept of Fundacion Ixil:  The Foundation will contribute to reducing the severe social problems reflected in the high indexes of poverty and extreme poverty, the high illiteracy rate, and the precarious access to healthcare.


The objectives of the Foundation are:

1. To support social development of the communities and families living in the Ixil Triangle, in the areas of education, health, culture, and generation of economic opportunities. 

2. To integrate the strengths and resources of the communities, local organizations, local governments, national government, churches, partner organizations, and volunteers that share the vision of the Foundation


The initial focus of the Foundation is the creation of a technical center for young people that will offer access to technical education to young people of both sexes in the Ixil region, via short courses designed to conform with the needs and opportunities that exist in the communities.


The initial courses will focus on:

1. Ecotourism:  This program will be oriented toward developing tourism in the region, and will include training of young people in different specialties (like hotel management, restaurant management, tourist guides, etc.).
2. Agricultural Businesses: Given the local agriculture-centered culture, it is proposed to train the new generations to further develop agriculture with a business perspective, with training on integrating themselves into regional, national, and international markets.
3. Curricular Fitness: Improving the training of primary educators, to promote the improvement in the quality of education that children of the Ixil region receive.


All of the courses should correspond to the needs and opportunities of the area, and should also promote social and environmental responsibility so that the students involve themselves in community development.