Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Knoxville Employees Tag Rubber Ducks for The Boys and Girls Club!

Growing up, like many of my peers, both of my parents worked. Once I was around 11 years old and my brother 14, our parents began letting us stay home without a babysitter afterschool.Tagging Ducks for Rubber Duck Race Although I had the love and support of my family, I do remember feeling a bit lonely some days, if not bored.

In our current economic times, there are many households where children are left home alone without an adult to turn to for safety or guidance. The Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley addresses the most at-risk youth in these circumstances, ensuring that all young people are enabled to reach their full potential. The non-profit promotes educational, vocational and character development in youth ages 5 through 17.

To support the work of the Club, employees from our Knoxville facility spent an afternoon volunteering. The annual Great Tennessee ValleyGMCR Employees tagging ducks! Rubber Duck Race is one of the non-profits largest fundraising event, providing in the past up to $200,000 towards their operations! Employees, along with other businesses, numbered and tagged 44,000 rubber ducks (see picture to the right!!) that were used in the race in the Tennessee River. Our employees are  already looking forward to volunteering next year!

To find a Boys and Girls Club in your area visit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Website or click here to find a location!


Why I drink Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve

Sometimes it all aligns just right, know what I mean?

Like when I prepare a plate of fresh eggs, over-easy, atop soft whole grain bread, with a few thick slices of extra sharp cheddar thrown in for good measure. I slather the whole pile in one of the many fiery hot sauces that live on the little shelf on the inside of my refrigerator door (my favorite is that thick goopy one, a foreboding concoction of peppers, vinegar and danger - you know the one, with the rooster on the label and the writing I can’t read - it’s like bottled volcano), and prepare to tuck in.

Maybe fat drops of rain are serenading me with their mellow drum beats on the skylight, or maybe a sleepy sun is just starting to slant through the crooked window frame. Maybe I’ve got Lucinda Williams on the stereo, or the Hold Steady, or whatever that particular morning calls for. The air is heavy with the mingled aromas of breakfast, the best component of which is the unmistakable soothing smell of freshly brewed Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve coffee.  Because it’s a Fair Trade coffee, I feel good about drinking it. But this is no sympathy selection, for though the supply chain is considered at every turn, the quality is outstanding. The coffee is rich, smooth and alluringly satisfying. And black as night (please stop putting cream and sugar in your coffee, trust me on this one).

I take a humongous bite, and feel a smile coming on. Then, as the egg and cheese fight for taste buds, and that crazy hot sauce starts electrifying my gums, I take a long pull off that hot black coffee and let all the flavors blissfully collide. It’s like what Fair Trade means to me – achievable harmony, a happy union.

Like I said, sometimes it all aligns just right.


GMCR Receives 2011 Humanitarian of the Year Award!

Every day, more than 20,000 children die because they lack access to basic medicines and primary healthcare. This staggering number is one reason why a non-profit organization called Medicines for Humanity (MFH) was formed in 1997. MFH is dedicated to reducing child mortality in impoverished communities worldwide, working to provide direct and effective responses to this injustice.

For the last two years, GMCR has supported a pilot project with Medicines for Humanity in the Southern Province of Rwanda. Rwanda is challenged with one of the highest rates of infant and child mortality in the coffee growing world. The pilot project focused on training community health workers to identify and treat the most vulnerable children in the community, working not only to ensure survival of those children, but also to promote a healthier future for them. Just recently, GMCR announced that we would continue the partnership with Medicines for Humanity for an additional four years by funding the continuation and expansion of this child survival project in Rwanda.

Last Monday, Medicines for Humanity honored GMCR with the 2011 Humanitarian of the Year award at a fundraising event held at the World Trade Center Seaport Hotel in Boston. When presenting the award, Medicines for Humanity Board member, Tom O’Neill stated, “GMCR has established a global footprint of caring, and demonstrated proactive concern for the well-being of the neediest children. In Rwanda, they seek out these children, and make sure they have life-saving healthcare services. They have shown the world how to use resources wisely to create enduring goodness.”

Rick Peyser, GMCR’s Director of Social Advocacy and Supply Chain Outreach, was there to accept the award. Rick expressed how proud – and humbled – we are to be honored for our contribution to organizations like Medicines for Humanity that channel knowledge, passion, and resources into improving the world we live in.


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is World’s Largest Purchaser of Fair Trade Certified Coffee

We have some very good news to share:  Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, has confirmed that our parent company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee in the world for 2010.  In its fiscal 2010, GMCR purchased over 23 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee.

This is truly an amazing feat – but it reflects more on what you’ve done, our coffee fans! Green Mountain Coffee, your go-to revelation brew, is only able to offer the largest selection of Fair Trade Certified coffees in the United States only because you choose to drink a coffee that gives back.  You’ve decided to sip on Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice or Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve or Fair Trade Kenyan Highland Cooperatives because it’s a quality brew all around: for your taste buds and for farmers around the world.

Our thanks to you for enthusiastically supporting Fair Trade!


Update: Irene Flood Relief Concert with Rubblebucket

Update 9/15/2011 - We're getting really excited for the relief show tomorrow night and to help spread the word our friends at Select Design created this great event flyer! There are going to be some fabulous raffle prizes as well as some food samples from Vermont Companies!

9/8/2011 - As you know, communities around Vermont – and many of our friends and coworkers – continue to recover from the aftermath of tropical storm Irene.   We’ve all been searching for ways to help, to do more where there’s need and to support organizations that can reach people and places we cannot.

That’s why on Friday, September 16, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. and other Vermont businesses will be hosting an Irene Flood Relief concert at Higher Ground in Burlington.

The concert features energetic afro-indie pop band Rubblebucket, returning to Vermont for one last 2011 concert to help the Vermont community, and Latin jazz and salsa dance band Ritmo Masacote.

In addition, the event will spotlight the companies and nonprofit organizations who have been involved in the relief efforts.

Tickets are $10 each, with proceeds benefitting the Vermont Foodbank.  Tickets are now on sale -- please click here to purchase tickets.

ETA: Can’t make it to Vermont for the event?  We’ll miss you, but you can still donate by texting FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank.


Our Temporary Visitor Center Cafe is Open

Our Visitor Center received a lot of damage due to the flooding Irene brought our way, particularity to our core systems, resulting in the need to close the building.  Our hope is that we will be back up and running in the next few weeks.

Starting today we are running a temporary visitor center at Rusty Parker Memorial Park in the bandstand area. We will be available to answer any questions, give directions, and share cheer and free coffee from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7-days a week.

Our Factory Outlet, located at 40 Foundry Street, did not receive any damage and is open for business.  The Outlet will extend their hours of operation to 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily to keep all of our visitors and locals well-caffeinated.  These hours will stay in effect until the Visitor Center reopens.

Many people have been affected by this flooding.  The community efforts to help our neighbors in need have been so impressive, I don’t really think that words can describe the out pour of support from so many. There isn’t a person in Waterbury that was not touched by this disaster, whether personally, through a family member or friend, or in helping with the clean-up efforts.  I’m proud to live in a community that is so quick to come to the aid of others.

Thank you all for your outpouring of concern and support!  Just remember: Vermont is open for business!  Pass on the word!

Check out for updates.


Exchanging Ideas on Food Security Solutions in Nicaragua

This is a guest post written by Colleen Bramhall. Colleen works in our Corporate Social Responsibility Department, supporting our Coffee Community Outreach programs.

You know that feeling of satisfaction you get when you introduce two of your Field visit with Campesino a Campesinoamazing friends that have a common interest... that moment when you step back and watch as they hit it off and engage in a meaningful, intelligent conversation that enriches them both?

We imagined this kind of engagement would happen if we brought together all of our incredible partners in Nicaragua that are working on different food security solutions targeting coffee farmers in our supply chain.  A few weeks ago, it became a reality!  In a highly participatory conference organized by the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), dozens of NGO project managers, coffee cooperative farm technicians, and other community and government leaders came together to discuss Interview with Youth and Women Leaders on FSinnovative strategies and approaches to addressing “the thin months” in coffee growing communities in Nicaragua.

We started in the field with a visit to a few farms near San Ramon that are part of the “Campesino a Campesino” (Farmer to Farmer) movement, which is a grassroots network of volunteers that provide sustainable agricultural advice to their neighbors.  The visit was a low-risk, informal way to share ideas and start to build relationships.  On the second day, each participant presented a poster to the group that described the strategies and tactics used in their food security project; for example, establishing household gardens, building grain drying facilities, distributing silos for seed storage, etc.  We were surprised to Presenting Posters at the Food Security Forumsee that so many of the projects had similar elements, which fostered collaboration and knowledge sharing.  On the final day, we invited government officials, advisors, and senior staff to join the dialogue to discuss how we could influence national policy.

The conference ended but the discussion continues.  Attendees were interested in forming a cross-organizational network of professionals engaged in food security solutions that could share best practices on an ongoing basis.  It will be exciting to see the collaborations that evolve from this network as we work towards our common goal of improving the lives of coffee farmers in Nicaragua.


K-Cup Finder: There's an App for That

Your smart phone is about to start brewing!  Introducing K-Cup® Finder, your free mobile reference for K-Cup® portion packs.

What exactly does it feature?  Since you asked:

  • Over 100 varieties represented including Green Mountain Coffee® and other brands

  • New varieties added as they are released

  • See reviews and ratings from other K-Cup® fans, and share your reviews with other K-Cup Finder app users and on Twitter

  • Sort and filter by brand, roast, and attributes (Fair Trade, Kosher, Organic, and more)

  • It's not just for coffee– find teas, hot cocoa, Brew Over Ice beverages, and other specialty and seasonal varieties

  • Create a favorites list of blends for future reference, with your rating and notes

  • Receive promotional offers and discounts

  • Links to buy varieties online direct from us

  • Work on your iPhone, iTouch, and iPad

We’d love for you to tell us what you like... and what you don't.  Let us know in the comments below or at our Feedback Form.