Green Mountain Coffee Company

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So, maybe you got a new Keurig® brewer over the holidays. Or maybe you’ve had a brewer for years. Either way, there’s a lot more than just a simple cup of coffee that you can get out of this terrific little machine. Here’s some inspiration from GreenMountainCoffee.com and Keurig.com to help you think outside the bean.

 

  1. Explore new varieties of coffee. Sure you have your go-to blend, and no one’s going to take that away from you. But did you know, there are over 150 different K-Cup® and about 50 Vue® pack varieties of coffee out there? From light, medium, and dark roast to extra bold, flavored, or special reserve – you might just discover a new favorite or two.
     
  2. Try other hot brews. Coffee’s not the only cup in town. The best-loved hot tea brands are also available for your Keurig® brewer, including Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Tazo, Tetley, and Twinings. And on a chilly day, kids and grown-ups alike love a cup of hot apple cider or hot cocoa.
     
  3. Enjoy cold beverages with Brew Over Ice packs. With specially-crafted Brew Over Ice K-Cup® and Vue® packs, it’s a cinch to make a fresh and refreshing cup of iced coffee, iced tea, lemonade or other fruit brew. Just fill a cup with ice (do not use glass), pop in a pack, brew, stir and enjoy!
     
  4. Involve your brewer for cooking and baking. There are lots of great recipes that call for coffee, both sweet and savory dishes. Your Keurig® brewer makes it easy to brew a single cup, fast and without cleanup. This blog has a boatload of delicious recipes, so do a little perusing for some culinary ideas.
     
  5. Use My K-Cup® for whole bean and ground options. For some, there’s nothing like a cup of coffee from freshly ground beans. The My K-Cup® refill pack allows you to grind your own beans or to try varieties that are only available in bags.

 

But it’s not just what’s in the cup that matters. Here are a few more tips.

  1. A little maintenance goes a long way. Changing your water filter every 2 months and descaling your brewer every 3-6 months will not only help extend the life of your brewer, it’ll keep your beverages tasting great. Learn more.
  2. Keep your packs in order. There are a few great space-saving options for keeping your packs handy and organized, including carousels, dispensers, and under-brewer drawers. Check out your storage options for both K-Cup® and Vue® packs.
  3. Stock up for guests. When company comes, it’s a real treat to allow everyone to choose his or her own beverage, so keep a stash of options (see #s 1,2, and 3 above) and make it easy for guests to browse packs (see #7 above).
  4. Keep in touch. Sign up at GreenMountainCoffee.com and Keurig.com (bottom left) to receive emails with exclusive discounts and special offers, new product information, and more. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

 

Got an idea to make it an even 10? We’d love to hear from you!

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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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What’s in a Name?

This is more than simply a case of “tomato” versus “tomahto.” There have always been regional dialects that account for the way words and names are pronounced. But since joining Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, I have encountered a linguistic inconsistency that cannot simply be chalked up to what part of the country you live in.

I present to you, the following name: Keurig®.

For many, it sounds something like this: “Cure-Rig.” For others, it’s “Kerr-RIg.” To others still, it’s “Kuh-Rig.” (Wikipedia offers this: ˈkjʊərɪɡ/, but you’ll need a PhD to figure it out.)

And now I’ll let you in on a little secret. Even inside our own company, even within Keurig’s own office walls, sometimes at the highest levels of the enterprise, you will encounter different pronunciations. From what I can tell, they all happily coexist and no one seems inclined to assert that his or her version is more correct.

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that we all line up behind a single pronunciation. My vote would be for the version that feels friendlier. More specifically, it’s the one that sounds like the word “your” is being embraced by a K and an IG. After all, it’s Your Keurig®, providing your choice of beverage, fresh and hot (or cold) when you want it.

So…repeat after me: K-Your-Rig.

Now, can I have a chat with all of you who mispronounce the word “nuclear”?

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10 ways to Celebrate Autumn

Fall is in the air!

It is the autumnal equinox, which means today is equally divided by daytime and nighttime.   It’s time to say good bye to those long summer days, but it doesn’t have to be bittersweet.  I know I am ready to say hello to no allergies, no bugs, perfectly moderate weather, and beautiful foliage.  Here are ten great ways to savor all that autumn has to offer before winter rolls in (I’m sorry for even mentioning it).

  1. One word: pumpkin.  Eat everything pumpkin you can find.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and of course Green Mountain Coffee Pumpkin Spice.  When you’re not eating pumpkins, try your hand at carving them.  Save the seeds and then roast them to commence the pumpkin eating again!
  2. Build a scare-crow to keep your Jack-O-Lanterns company.  Despite the name, scare-crows don’t have to be scary and they can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make them.  Building your own scare-crow is a fun, kid-friendly way to spend an afternoon. 
  3. Go for a hike, nature walk, or even just a brisk stroll around the neighborhood.  Even if you don’t live in a climate like ours here in Vermont that offers stunning autumn foliage, it’s still great to get a breath of fall fresh air.
  4. If you are lucky enough to have a ton of leaves to rake, jump in!  Nothing is more satisfying than plunging into a fluffy mound of leaves, especially if you are the one who’s done the raking all day.  Don’t be shy; this one isn’t just for the kids.
  5. Pick your own peck of apples or pick a peck at your local farmer’s market.  Use your fresh apples for apple pie, caramel-coated apples, or try a cheddar and apple pizza.  Then, what better way to celebrate your hard work than with Hot Apple Cider and apple cider doughnuts?
  6. Get out in the country and go for a hay ride.  Whether you go tractor- or horse-drawn, the sweet smell of hay and the gold and jewel tones of harvest will transport you to an autumn wonderland.
  7. Get lost in a maze of maize!  You’ll be amaized by how fun corn mazes are.  Okay, I’ll stop being corny.
  8. Visit a haunted house or haunted woods.  Get your heartbeat pumping and prepare for a lot of laughs afterwards. This is the one time of year when you should be afraid of the dark.
  9. Break out that old guitar and gather around a bonfire.  The weather is just right for getting cozy around a crackling fire with a few good friends and a steaming cup of Cafe Escapes Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa.  S’mores anyone?
  10. Play a game of touch football.  Many of us will be doing a lot of football watching this season, but why not join in the fun yourself?  The crisp weather is perfect for running around!

What are you most excited about doing this fall?  If you are anything like me your list is eating, more eating, and eating with good company!

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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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The Best in Bad Poetry

International Bad Poetry Day

With keen anticipation for International Bad Poetry Day, we invited our employees to give us their best bad odes to coffee. We had a terrific response and selected our top 5 favorites. Let us know in the Comments if you find a special message hidden in “Vision Our View”!

And without further ado, here they are.

 

Nantucket

By Dan Bisbee

Packaging Controls Engineer

There once was a blend called Nantucket

That some folks drink by the bucket

They can’t get enough

Of that wonderful stuff

If you gave them a straw they would suck it.

 

Secret Pleasure

By Erik Volk

Technology Learning Leader

I enjoy strong, black coffee.

It’s a coffee snobber’s dream!

Never adding sugar,

Never adding cream.

 

However, recently I found myself

With a hidden secret vice.

Loading down my cup

With sugar, cold milk, and lots of ice.

I find it only happens

In the heat of summer sun.

I drink it only in the shadows

Away from everyone.

 

If I should be discovered,

With this sweet, icy, mellow drink,

I’ll swear it isn’t mine

And quickly dump it down the sink.

 

Vision Our View

By Mark Rivers

Machine Operator, Essex Plant

The ways to brew and ways to get through…morning, noon, and night

Vision a revision of the caffeinated religion, with a new hope in sight

Of a world that blends and never ends, countless portioned possibilities

Green and lean for an environmental dream, showing our Earth no hostility

Mountain to valley, Main Street to alley, no roads dare we not trek

Coffee first led, now more beverages spread, for every category to check

Roasters power at any given hour, meticulously fine-tuned

Is the way we show and continue to grow, and prepare the world to be groomed

To understand what is at hand, a beverage for every taste

Be it breakfast, lunch, an emergency brunch, or an evening face-to-face

The occasion matters not, nor does the plot, with convenience and technology’s best

Leading the revolution of the beverage fusion, above and beyond the rest

Specialty blends are setting the trends, so perfect and expertly pearled

Beverage is the key to the way it will be, brewing a better world

Company of greatness standing on high…Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

 

Aroma

By Thomas Cominelli

Test Engineer, Brewer Engineering

Morning light breaks the night,

sky begins to glow.

Contemplating what’s ahead,

my feet are moving slow.

Green Mountain Coffee scents the air,

now nose and toes are leading.

With cup in hand I’ll make a stand

to end my palate’s pleading.

One sip to start, you’ve stolen my heart

but now I’m on my way.

My steps have spring, I start to sing

looking forward to a glorious day.

 

La Guatemalteca

By Luther Leake

Manager, R&D Innovation

A woman in coastal Guatemala

Picked coffee all day for a dolla.

But what she was paid

Increased with Fair Trade

And lifted her family from squala.

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Meet A New Face at the Visitors Center and Cafe

Meet Julia at the Train Station

We would like to introduce a new face in the Train Station! Meet Julia Garufi. We are proud to have her as a part of our talented team. She isn’t as new as she may seem though.

Back in June 1983, Julia worked at the original Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Café in Waitsfield, Vermont. She worked under Patty Vincent (you know, Patty on our Coffee Team, right?) as a barista.

As Julia recalls, things were a little different back then. They roasted right on site in the café. Wholesale roasting was done at what is now our Factory Outlet here in Waterbury. They would roast into large bins and everything was hand bagged except for frac packs (those little sealed pouches of coffee) which had a special machine to seal them closed. There was also another retail facility in the Winooski Mill in Winooski, Vermont and in Portland, Maine. Overall, it was quite the memorable experience for her. Memorable enough to bring her to us. Seeing how socially aware and employee friendly the company managed to be despite its growth and size, Julia decided to come back to where it all began and now works with us here in the Train Station!

Stop in sometime and say hello to Julia! Ask her about the original café or just visit for a cup of Green Mountain Coffee®. We look forward to your visit!

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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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The Cafe Staff Goes to Source

Missy at Source

At the Green Mountain Coffee® Café and Visitor Center we enjoy sharing experiences with the community.  Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. provides employees an opportunity to visit coffee growing communities on source trips. This gives us the chance to see where the process of tree to cup begins and meet the farmers who produce the very same coffee we roast everyday.

In December, my coworker Michele was given the opportunity to go to Nicaragua with fellow employees in the company, including east coast to west coast American and Canadian teammates.  Not only did she have the chance to meet and create bonds with the farmers who influence our lives even here in Vermont, but she had the chance to get to know people within the company she may not have had a chance to meet otherwise.

In February two of our coworkers, Christiane and Joshua, had the chance to travel with members of the International Woman’s Coffee Alliance to Guatemala. The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) strives to create a difference in the world of coffee. With a mission to “empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry,” the IWCA, from its inception, has remained focused on promoting possibilities for women in coffee communities throughout the world.  

After our trips to our coffee growing regions we, as a whole department in the Green Mountain Coffee Café and Visitor Center, found a deep respect for the people in our supply chain. We created long lasting bonds with our coffee growing communities and our international team members who keep this company running strong.  The in-depth opportunity to see and experience the tree to cup experience and have the chance to share with our community has given a life changing view of the coffee sitting in our cups.

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Employee Source Trip to Costa Rica 2013

   
Luis Campos from Altura de San Ramon, with Laurent and Winston looking on
Manuel Antonio Quiros, the coffee farming, car repairing bonsai gardener.

It is easy to imagine how nice it is to go to Costa Rica in January especially if you are leaving behind a climate that includes a down jacket and snow shovel.  Every year employees get to leave their home climates to go on source trips to warm coffee producing countries, like Costa Rica.  And that's what I first got to do in 1996.  I was a trainer in what would now be called Continuous Learning and our 'classrooms' were in the old Java U in Waterbury, VT.   The building was torn down years ago and very few remember the building, but I'll never forget the day my boss and her boss asked me to follow them into one of the classrooms to tell me I was selected to go on the employee trip to Costa Rica.

Fast forward to 2013 and I have led four trips to Costa Rica (15 in total between there and Mexico) and I never get tired of bringing employees there.  One of my favorite groups to visit in Costa Rica is Altura de San Ramon in San Ramon.  One reason is Luis Campos (upper left), their General Manager, who I adore and admire.  He's been to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. in Vermont many times sporting his leather hat, soft spoken manner, and just plain tallness.  As well as a coffee farmer and cattle rancher Luis runs the Association of more than 500 farmers.  Another reason it is a favorite group to visit is the other friends we have made over time there, like Manuel Antonio Quiros (bottom), who has also been here before. Manuel is a coffee farmer, but also runs a car repair garage and dabbles in bonsai.

This year instead of going to Luis' house like we usually do, we went to Sergio Hernandez's farm for a short tour and snacks made by his wife Martha.  Sergio is a coffee farmer but he also raises day old chicks to sell to chicken farms that raise them for fried chicken and broilers.  He proudly pointed out that those little chickens gross him $90,000 per year.  When we got to the top of the hill full of coffee trees, he pointed out (again not without a certain amount of pride) the coffee farms that his many sons own.  It was at the end of the day, and I can't tell you exquisite the light was; it was the kind of light that has no humidity to it, no bugs to it, just light and fresh air, and warmth (upper right).  It’s the kind of view and company that encompasses how the employee source trips make people feel.

 

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Coffee Companies Team Up to Combat Seasonal Hunger

For several years, we have worked with our partners to address seasonal hunger by supporting “food-security” projects at the household level —  that is, projects that help farmers grow or have the means to buy sufficient, nutritious food on a day-to-day basis. We're excited to announce that we've now joined with four other coffee companies along with Mercy Corps and Aldea Global to work on this issue together. 

The Coffeelands Food Security Coalition, made up of Counter Culture Coffee, Farmer Brothers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Starbucks Coffee Company and Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, is a collaborative project that aims to develop, enable and disseminate solutions to seasonal hunger in coffee producing countries. Mercy Corps is partnering with the Coalition to fight hunger in Nicaragua, beginning in February 2013, through the Empowering Food Securities Project. The Coalition aims to expand participation within the industry and with other NGO and government partners, and will be announcing opportunities in early spring 2013. For more information about the Coalition and opportunities to get involved, please visit Mercy Corps' Food Security in the Coffeelands webpage
 
In related coffee food security news, Susan Sarandon's op-ed "Helping Small Coffee Growers Fatten Up the 'Thin Months' " ran in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend. Within the article she discusses the issue of food insecurity among coffee farmers and the projects that Heifer, along with funding from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, are implementing to help combat this issue.
 
Learn more about seasonal hunger in the coffeelands by watching the documentary below, "After The Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands", narrated by Susan Sarandon:

 

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Alliance to Help Guatemalan Farmers Earn More and Improve Nutrition

Many of our efforts to promote and advance sustainability demonstrate our belief that individuals, companies, communities, and organizations can achieve more working together than apart. This belief demonstrates itself through our working environment, volunteerism program as well as our grantmaking programs. In a recent press release, USAID and Mercy Corps announced our involvment in the public-private alliance to work together to improve the lives of small-scale farmers and thier families in Guatemala. Below is an exceprt from the press release put out by USAID and Mercy Corps: 

 
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 security.

"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 region."

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 decades."

 

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A Bit of Holiday Spirit for Our Troops!

We’re happy to support the troops all year round with great tasting coffee. It is especially great to know that those comforts of home are also there during the holidays. Over the past month employees have also been volunteering their time to send some holiday cheer to our service men and woman.                     

This year, our involvment in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program grew - with four of our sites participating.  Employees used their company sponsored volunteer time to make cards for the American Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program. The cards, handcrafted by volunteers across the country, are sent to service men and women, their families and veterans all over the world. Employees crafted cards and messages of thanks.

At our Keurig facility in Reading, Massachusetts employees decorated Christmas Stockings and put together grab bags. Both the Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee brands have a strong relationship with the Pease Greeters Organizations through volunteer events like this and brewer and coffee donations.

Thank you to the American Red Cross and Pease Greeters for providing opportunities like these so that we can give back in a special way during the holidays!

 

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Fiscal 2011 CSR Report: $15.2 Million!

We’re proud to announce the release of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) fiscal 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report! On this blog we mostly discuss our efforts around philanthropy and volunteerism, but our sustainability efforts as a company reach beyond those two areas of outreach.  As our business grows, our opportunities to make a difference are growing. Looking back at fisal year 2011, we’re proud of where we’ve been and where we’re going.

GMCR Philanthropic Giving 2011

Some highlights from fiscal 2011 include:

- Allocating approximately $15.2 million in resources to our sustainability program
- Funding or expanding funding for 20 food-security projects that reached 19,000 families in our supply chain.
- Contributing more than 29,000 hours of volunteer time through our employee volunteerism programs.
- Exceeding our targets for waste reduction at two of our facilities. Knoxville, TN cut its waste metric by 49% (versus its goal of 15%) and Sumner, WA reduced its waste metric by 37% (versus its goal of 30%).

The full report is available as a downloadable PDF on GMCR’s CSR website: www.BrewingABetterWorld.com.

 

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6th Annual Grounds for Health Carwash to be held August, 16th!

This Thursday (8/16/12), we’ll be hosting our 6th annual carwash to raise money for the Waterbury, Vermont-based nonprofit Grounds for Health, an organization that aims to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in coffee-growing communities.

Employees will be hosing down and washing cars behind the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center and Café in Waterbury from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m . The carwash is free, but donations are strongly encouraged (especially if you’d like your car detailed by Gigi’s Cleaning Company)! They’ll be free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream as well as music by The Growlers.

Grounds for Health Carwash 2011  GMCR Employees Voluteering at Carwash

In addition, to hosting this annual carwash, we’ve also been a long-time supporter of Grounds for Health through past grants. We most recently awarded Grounds for Health a three-year $900,000 grant that will help them to further develop their existing cervical cancer prevention programs in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Tanzania, and expand its program into Peru. We're excited to continue to support Grounds For Health's efforts to establish sustainable and effective cervical cancer prevention and treatment programs in coffee-growing communities. The partnerships Grounds for Health forges with coffee cooperatives help break down barriers that stand between women and the care they need.

If you’re in the area on Thursday, be sure to stop by the carwash to show your support and have some fun!

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Getting Ready for a Potluck – Big Summer Style

Who doesn’t love a potluck?

It’s the trifecta of good things: Friends, mingling, and great food – the signature items that you bring plus a slew of dishes you’d have never thought to make yourself.  A buffet of creativity that you get to enjoy with your best buds.  Win, win, win all around.

Those are just some of the reasons why we’re excitedly packing our bags for this weekend’s Big Summer Potluck, an annual gathering of food lovers put on by The Ivory Hut and Three Many Cooks.  It’s three days jam-packed with schmoozing with old and new friends, workshops galore, and of course, dishes from some of the best cooks around – the hosts and attendees!  Some of our very own K-Cup® Ambassadors will even be on the ground, taking the weekend in for all its foodie worth and sharing the K-Cup® love.    

So, what does a coffee company bring to a potluck?  We do have a lot of spectacular recipes using Green Mountain Coffee® varieties thanks to Bluebonnets & Brownies, so we have some options. 

But let’s be honest: when it’s 8 AM on Saturday and you’re in need of a revelation, what do you want?  Coffee – hot and caffeinated.  When it’s 3 PM in the summer after a full day of inspiring workshops, what do you need? Coffee – cool and creamy.  Iced, hot, and creatively mixed (we’re talking to you, K-Cup®  Mixologists!) we’ll be bringing a pallet of Green Mountain Coffee® K-Cup® packs for Big Summer Potluck guests to enjoy throughout the day.     

If you can’t make it to Big Summer Potluck, don’t worry!  Follow the weekend activity on Twitter with hasttag #bsp3 and have your own potluck at home! What’s your go-to potluck dish?  Wild Mountain Blueberry™ Pound Cake is a showstopper with crowds!

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3rd Annual Tennessee River Rescue with Ijams Nature Center

Volunteerism is an integral part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Every full-time employee can take up to 52-hours of paid time-off to volunteer for an non-profit organization they are passionate about (learn more on how we support local communities).

A company tradition in Vermont has been to cleanup one of the nearby rivers as part of American River’s National River Cleanup. In Vermont, we’ve been organizing a River Cleanup on the Winooski River since 2005. As our volunteerism program has expanded to other employee locations, so has the tradition of an annual River Cleanup.

GMCR Employees Volunteer Tennessee RiverKnoxville River Rescue

In early April, employees from our Knoxville, TN facility, with help from Ijams Nature Center (also a Green Mountain Coffee Roasters grant recipient) participated in their 3rd annual River Rescue cleanup event on the Tennessee River. In total, 149 volunteers over the course of two days collected 452 bags of trash, 20 tires, 6 shopping carts, a conveyor belt, a bicycle, a gas tank, a metal “man” cut-out, rugs, ropes and numerous other items. The approximate weight of the bagged trash was approximately 8,100 lbs!

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Heifer International: Fighting Hunger in Coffee-Growing Areas

Denise Henderson is the Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Heifer International. Below, she is a piece she wrote about her recent experiences visiting Heifer projects for After The Harvest.org - the website for the documentary about food security in coffee communities

"For several years through a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), Heifer International has been committed to fighting hunger and seasonal poverty in coffee growing areas, most notably in Mexico and Central and South America.

Through its work, Heifer conducts agriculture and livestock programs that enable farmers to achieve food security, improve yields and generate revenue by diversifying crop and animal production. Heifer applies improved farming techniques and helps farmers bring products to market through its community-based approach.

In the past few months, I have had the opportunity to see the partnership between Heifer and GMCR in action, both in the field and here in the United States.

In February, I traveled to Honduras with a group of Heifer International staff. While visiting coffee farmers in Marcala, our group observed a distinct difference between families who had the good fortune of participating in a Heifer program designed to address food security and income, and those who didn’t. The families participating in the Heifer projects we visited were healthy and well fed.

In contrast, it was difficult to bear the sight of visibly undernourished residents and their animals that grazed on patches of grass wherever available…usually on the side of a narrow, crooked road with lots of cars and trucks going by.  We were alarmed when our driver screeched to a stop to prevent hitting a cow stopped in the road.

While we were able to see only a few coffee farmers, it was apparent the great struggles of many who provide one of our greatest pleasures – a good cup of coffee - must experience each year. I’m proud to be part of the Heifer-GMCR partnership working to end seasonal hunger and poverty in this part of the world.

In April, I was part of a delegation of Heifer International representatives who attended the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) event in Portland, OR. 

While at SCAA, we were awestruck by the collaboration beginning to form.  Global non-government organizations are beginning to consider collective impact and what it might look like to work together. Competing companies are joining forces to help their coffee producers, for the good of their farmers and their coffee supply chain. Individual agendas are being abandoned in favor of a collective approach to improve hunger and poverty during “the thin months.” It seemed that all are beginning to understand that there won’t be great coffee if there are no coffee growers.

We at Heifer are very happy to be part of the solution of addressing hunger in the coffeelands, and we look forward to our continuing relationship with those in the coffee industry who share the same ideals."

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Intercambio Perú 2012

One thing I love about our Company is the sheer number of opportunities we have to work hand-and-hand with our supply chain – from coffee farmers to importers to non-profits on the ground. A group of us from the Coffee team, CSR, and Marketing just got back from Peru doing that exact thing: Meeting with the supply chain, face-to-face.

Ed Canty from our Coffee Lab shakes hands with, while Paul Rice of Fair Trade USA looks on.

With Fair Trade USA, we hosted Intercambio Perú 2012 in Lima with our entire Fair Trade coffee supply chain in Peru (our largest Fair Trade origin). The purpose? To enhance transparency and collaboration, exchange ideas and projects, and create a productive business space. It turns out we are the first coffee roaster to ever gather coffee producers, importers, and outside organizations in one space to talk about opportunities in the coffee supply chain. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Cupping!

During the three day event, we covered a lot of ground. There were 155 participants representing producer organizations, importers, traders, financiers, and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that do projects in Peru. We sponsored a Risk Management Training in collaboration with the World Bank. We held a cupping calibration with lead cuppers from co-ops. The amount of energy in the room was palpable – and not just from the amount of caffeine in our coffee cups!

If you can tell from the excitement oozing out of this post, we are very motivated by the results of this event. Can’t wait to work on similar efforts in the future.

-Derek, Green Mountain Coffee Brand Manager

Group Photo!

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