Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Happy Engineers Week!

GMCR Engineers Use 'Out of the Box' Ideas for In-the-Box Solutions 

 

Engineers are known for their problem solving and analytical thinking. At Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) we put this to the test and encourage our team members to literally think outside of the box and have fun doing it! Recently, teams of engineers were challenged to come up with innovative and sustainable packaging ideas for Keurig® home brewer models.

Incorporating passion and innovation in all that we do, GMCR creates engaging, hands-on activities for our employees with a purpose. Conducted at our new state-of-the-art facility in Burlington, Mass., 13 teams competed to create sustainable material packaging ideas to protect a Keurig® brewer when falling 20 feet. Some of the winning ideas are going to be considered to improve our designs for future packaging.

“At GMCR, we strive to do what best for our customers and the environment,” said Jim Shepard, GMCR Director of Brewer Engineering. “The engineering group is constantly pursuing ways to reduce our non-renewable waste stream and the sustainable drop test competition was a way to fully embrace and challenge the way we are currently packaging our products”

While many engineers have participated in the classic egg drop experiment in the past, at GMCR, we up the ante and conduct a drop contest using Keurig® home brewers. Not only was the purpose to give our engineers an exciting way to work together, it also provides GMCR an opportunity to explore innovative ways to improve our packaging. The teams were judged on a variety of criteria after the boxes were dropped including, brewer functionality, aesthetics of the master carton, aesthetics of the brewer and sustainable materials used for the packaging.

“It was great to challenge our engineers to think out of the box about what goes into the box,” said Shepard.

At GMCR, we strive to create an environment where sparking our team member’s curiosity and imagination can continue to shape our future by redefining the consumer experience.  

So, wish all of your engineer colleagues and friends a very Happy Engineers Week and be sure to check out our GMCR page, to give you a further look into our career ideals as well as our promise of enriching your culture to Brew a Better World with us! 

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Train Station News - January Edition

 

 

Remember the Green Mountain Coffee Roaster Train Station’s coffee trees? They’ve grown quite a bit in the past year! Today they were transplanted into their new pots by our barista, Aurelie. These pots were hand painted by our barista, Kiley.

The coffee trees were originally planted on Valentine’s Day 2013. Our first coffee tree, Andy, sprouted on April 24th 2013 and his siblings, Annette, Pablo and Mr Clean, all came up soon after. This is the second time they have been transplanted. They should have plenty of room to keep growing in these new pots.

Don’t forget to stop in at the Train Station and say hello to our smallest co-workers!

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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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December Celebrations

December is always an exciting month for the Train Station and Visitor Center! We have some very special promotions this month!

We have started up our Ski and Ride with The Point promotion. It’s $5.00 per packet. You get a booklet of coupons and a button that gets you 50% off a day pass at a number of local ski resorts on specified days. Coming up in January, we have the following resorts; January 3rd Jay Peak, January 10th Sugarbush, January 17th Mad River Glen, January 24th Smuggler’s Notch, January 26th Trapp Family Lodge and January 31st Burke Mountain Resort. The best part about this promotion is it has places you actually want to ski! Don’t forget to grab a packet next time you’re in.

We also have begun Revitalizing Waterbury’s Wrap It Up & Win punch cards. Visit any of the participating businesses (including the Train Station and Factory Outlet) once a day to receive a punch on your card. Once you have five and have filled it up, turn it in at The Tiny Acorn, Bridgeside Books or Sunflower Natural Foods to be entered in a drawing for some fantastic prizes. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll win our $75.00 gift certificate to the Train Station and Factory Outlet!

 Our holiday spirit doesn’t stop there either! We’ve also started collecting for the Good Neighbor Fund of Waterbury Vermont. Donate any amount to add a decoration to our holiday tree in the coffee museum. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will match all donations! We’re hoping to fill the branches of our tree once again this year.

Stop over before the holiday season has passed! Grab a Seasonal Supreme to warm you up and support your local Vermont Community with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters!

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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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Welcoming a Foodinista to the Train Station

Meet Shoshana!

We have a new staff member on board at the Train Station! We’d like to introduce Shoshana Frieden (second from the left)! She moved here from northern California and started here in the café early September.

Why come to our little slice of Vermont?  Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s socially conscious standards and innovation really caught her attention. She is from a long line of chefs and is a true foodinista with a taste for quality coffee, cheerfully saying,

“If I was on an island, one of the food groups I’d request would be coffee."

She is thrilled to be able to help people from around the country think outside of the coffee bag and experiment with their beverage choices. She is already contributing greatly to the team.

Make sure you stop in and say, "Hello!" She would be happy to dream up a drink for you!

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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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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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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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Wrapping Up River Cleanup: What We Didn't Expect to Find

Last week marked Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.'s (GMCR) ninth annual Vermont River Cleanup event. After several days of removing trash, canoeing down the river, and getting sufficiently covered in mud, over 250 Vermont-based GMCR employees successfully removed hundreds of tires and endless amounts of trash from the Winooski River.

Last year, GMCR volunteers removed almost 1,000 tires from the Winooski River during the five day event, which took place a year after Hurricane Irene devastated Vermont. This year, volunteers were shocked to see that only a year later, there was still an abundance of trash and tires to be removed once again. On the first day alone, 120 tires were removed from the water and banks of the Winooski River.

Among the expected trash that was found, volunteers also removed some other strange items from the murky waters. When I made my way down to the river to check out the action, I was surprised to see some of these obscure items surfacing. Among them was…

  • A muddy and beat up orange traffic cone
  • A long lost doll who had definitely seen better days
  • A few rusty hub caps
  • A ceiling fan that only held on to one blade
  • A red baby swing
  • A very soggy and very muddy sleeping bag
  • A broken white plastic lawn chair
  • A window screen
  • Plenty of old shoes with no pair

This list is a mere snapshot of the variety of items that were pulled from the river this week. GMCR employee’s dedication to helping their local communities shines through during the week of River Cleanup. The Winooski River is cleaner and clearer thanks to the employees who took time out of their days to jump in canoes and dig through the mud and water last week.
 

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Ask the Coffee Lab: How Do You Become a Coffee Taster?

Discussing a cupping session at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Coffee Lab

How does someone become a coffee taster?  Did you go to school for it?

Can you imagine being paid to drink coffee? We are! We joke in the lab about how fun it is to say, “Yes,  I get paid to drink coffee.”

Let’s talk vocabulary first. Coffee taster is sort of a generic word for anyone who has to evaluate brewed coffee in some shape or form. We have employees at all our production sites who evaluate coffee and they’re part of the quality teams that dot our landscape at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

Some folks are on Development teams making up new concoctions and recipes all the time - and naturally they do a lot of tasting. In the Coffee Lab, when we want to change a recipe for a blend, we brew up the proposed change and taste it. At that point we’re all coffee tasters.

Generally the coffee tasters are employees who show an enthusiasm and interest in coffee and sensory evaluation. You might be one of those people – the kind who revel in good food and are fussy about what they eat and drink. They have a great nose. They’re the kind of people who walk into a room after Julie Ann has left 30 minutes earlier and say, “Did I just miss Julie Ann? I can smell her rose water perfume” or other redolent scent that no one else in the room can smell.

In some cases, there are some sensory tests we put employees through. One of the harder ones is putting very small amounts of salt, sugar, and bitter in water and asking them to distinguish which one is which and what the mix is.

If we are evaluating coffee for purchase, then we call that cupping. Cupping is coffee tasting, but it has the slurping and spitting. There are more protocols and processes than tasting and the training is a little more rigorous.

There’s no school per se for coffee cupping, but there are many courses and training. The Coffee Quality Institute (www.coffeeinstitute.org) has the famous Q Grader Course. A five day, 24 test course, it’s rigorous, thorough, exhausting and hard to pass. At least for me it was, but pass I did!

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Intercambio Colombia 2013

GMCR Intercambio Colombia GMCR Intercambio Colombia
GMCR Intercambio Colombia

 

In June 2013, we hosted our very first Intercambio Colombia event, which brought together all of our Fair Trade and Conventional supply partners for three days of exchange on the current harvest, quality expectations and supply efficiencies.  We met in Peru last year, at Intercambio Perú 2012.

This first event took place at Finca Combia in Calarcà, Quindìo, with 157 participants representing Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Fair Trade USA, 32 small producer organizations, 16 exporters, 11 importers, 3 NGOs, and 3 financial institutions.

Our Colombian partners gave us a warm welcome into their communities and we couldn’t have wished for a better, more dedicated group of people to make this first Intercambio Colombia an unprecedented success.

 

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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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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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A New Special Reserve Coffee that Offers Sweet Rewards

Green Mountain Coffee® is pleased to announce the arrival of an exquisite Special Reserve coffee: Costa Rica Finca El Quizarrá White Honey. Available only in bags for a limited time, this unique coffee is grown in the rich, volcanic soil of Costa Rica and is produced using a unique method called “honey processing.” More on that in a bit.

First, the tasting notes from our Coffee Department: “The natural sweetness of the white honey process shines through in velvety, concentrated flavors of blood orange and plum. With a rounded acidity, the taste is delicate and bright, featuring an undertone of buttery brown sugar. The finish resonates with soft tannins and notes of red currant and white grape.”

(They have a pretty sweet job, don’t they?)

So what is this “honey process” and what difference does it make in the coffee? I’m so glad you asked. There are lots of ways in which coffee beans can be processed. While most are either “washed” (all layers of the coffee cherry is removed before the beans are dried) or “natural” (the fruit is left intact during the drying process), many farms are exploring variations on both these approaches in order to coax out intriguing and more nuanced flavors from their coffee beans.

With honey washed coffee, the skin of the coffee cherry is removed, but parts of the fruit are left on to varying degrees. White honey processing – the approach used by Finca El Quizarrá, the farm that produces the beans for this Special Reserve coffee – is closest to a fully washed coffee. That is, just 25% of the fruit remains, specifically the thick, honey-like layer that protects the beans. The result is a coffee that has the characteristically clean and bright flavors of a washed coffee, but a more pronounced sweetness imparted by the natural sugars of the fruit.

To further enhance the sweetness, the folks at Finca El Quizarrá hand-pick only the most mature cherries for pressing. Once pressed, the beans are sun dried on open-air patios and then fully dried mechanically in order to obtain precise humidity levels. Finally, the coffee rests on parchment in wood cellars for a few months prior to being dry milled. Once that’s done, the “green” beans are shipped to Vermont where the master roasters at Green Mountain Coffee® will work their magic, and package it up for you.

And me. I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

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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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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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Pucker Up: Top 3 Lemon Picks for Your Keurig Brewer

Green Mountain Naturals Lemonade

When life hands you lemons…make lemon iced tea!  Or rather, let us do that bit for you.  If you’re a lemon-head like me, addicted to pucker power and searching for citrus, you’re definitely in the right place with a Keurig® brewer.  There’s a bushel of lemon options to soothe your craving for a little tang this summer, whether you’re in search of a refreshing ice tea or a something a little sweeter. 

- Green Mountain Naturals® Lemonade – Who knew your brewer could be a lemonade stand?  Now you know!  A combination of sun-splashed, fresh-picked flavor and brewing ease. Plus, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.   

- Snapple® Lemon Iced Tea – The Best Stuff on Earth just made it into your brewer! Bright lemon flavor with green and black teas make this famous iced tea just what your taste buds expected – and all freshly brewed in your kitchen.

- Celestial Seasonings® Half & Half Perfect Iced Tea – Why should you have to choose between robust and smooth black tea and tangy, all-natural lemonade?  We don’t think you should.  “Teatime” with Half & Half!  

Chilling out has never been this easy. It's icy refreshment at the touch of a button.  Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

 

 

SNAPPLE and MADE FROM THE BEST STUFF ON EARTH are registered trademarks of Snapple Beverage Corp., used by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. under license. © 2013 Snapple Beverage Corp. www.snapple.com

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