Social Responsibility

20,000 Coffee Farming Families Receive Food Security Support


Coffee Farming Family

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

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

Focus Areas for Supply Chain Projects

Highlights from our Fiscal 2012 Report include:

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

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

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

To explore the full Fiscal 2012 Sustainability Report, visit


8th Annual Sustainability Report Now Live!

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

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

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

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


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


Read the full Sustainability report our website at


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.



Community Garden Provides Nutritional Education

GMCR Knoxville TN Employee Community Grants

As February ends and March begins, I start dreaming of tulips and a freshly planted garden. Unfortunately, Vermont still has six weeks left of winter, but our Knoxville, Tennessee facility will be thawing out much sooner. During our fiscal 2012 grantmaking, we provided financial support to The New Harvest Park Community Garden in Knoxville. The Garden is a partnership of the Knoxville Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Knox County Parks and Recreation. The Community Garden promotes a healthy lifestyle through education about real food – where it comes from, how it grows, the nutritional benefits, the many unique flavors – while providing physical activity in the garden. Groups of children attend a ten week program, Junior Master Gardener, which offers horticulture and environmental science education through fun and creative activities. GMCR’s funding provided the equipment, supplies, and an instructor for the program.

The first graduates of the Junior Master Gardener program received their completion certificates at the garden dedication ceremony which was featured on the local news and on Knox County’s website. Members of the Knoxville Grantmaking Team attended the dedication ceremony and spoke to some of the Junior Master Gardeners.  They spoke highly of the program and were proud to share their favorite experiences in the program which included weeding, manually tilling the ground, picking the harvest that they worked hard to grow, and eating the yummy vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and herbs. More information and pictures from the Community Garden can be viewed on their Facebook page.

Through Employee Community Grant Programs at each of our employee sites in the United States and Canada, we provide grants to organizations and projects that address specific issues aligned with environmental stewardshipstrong local systems, and economic prosperity. Each employee site has its own grant program and review team, and each directs their philanthropic efforts and resources to a set of specific focus areas that are meaningful for their employees and relevant to their unique community. 


Exploring the Coffee Region of San Lorenzo

GMCR Colombia, La Vereda

Colleen, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.'s Coffee Community Outreach Manager, recently traveled to Colombia to visit the region of San Lorenzo. Below is a report of her trip:

"I had the opportunity to visit an incredible community in San Lorenzo, Colombia with some of my colleagues from GMCR Canada.  These are the farmers behind the delicious “Colombian La Vereda” product within the Timothy’s® World Coffee brand.  Timothy’s® World Coffee has developed a relationship with the producers in these 15 veredas, or hamlets, over 10+ years of buying commitments and funding social projects. In fact, in 2006 they won an SCAA Sustainability Award in recognition of this relationship coffee model. As the manager of our coffee community outreach work, I was excited to meet the various actors along this supply chain and to see the impact of our partnership on the coffee producers. 
I was moved by the pride of the Embera-Chami people who are native to this area as they displayed their “La Vereda” membership card showing they were producers of this exclusive, designated region of quality.  They know they grow great coffee!  Even the young people are showing interest in continuing the tradition, which is a good sign of a sustainable livelihood that is unfortunately becoming rarer in the coffeelands.
Our hosts gave us all sombreros aguadeños – the kind of hat you might see Juan Valdez wear – and we took off for the coffee farms loaded up on the roof of a truck.  We were met at one village entrance by a parade of children who walked us past the school and into the community center – both construction supported with funding from Timothy’s® World Coffee – where we watched a cultural performance and heard from members of the community about changes in the community since the beginning of our buying relationship.  We then had the opportunity to visit farmers in the area who described the improvements they are making in production practices and shared their concerns related to costs, climate change, and pests.  Throughout the visit, it was clear that the relationship between the roaster and the producers was for the long haul.
Before the visit, I could talk your ear off about the tasty flavor profile of the coffee we call La Vereda – now, my story would start with these warm and welcoming producers in San Lorenzo. These are the kinds of communities where our sustainability funding can complement our commercial relationship to create something truly special."
After their trip, Timothy's® World Coffee produced and released the following video which highlights Gilberto, one of the proud leaders within this coffee growing region. To keep up to date with Timothy's® World Coffee, follow their Facebook page

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:



Over $2 Million to Help Nicaraguan Coffee-Growing Communities Gain Access to Clean Water

We are proud to announce our pledge for over $2 million to support two clean water projects in communities where the we source coffee in Nicaragua. GMCR has joined forces with two non-profit organizations in northern Nicaragua to fund two potable water projects over the next five years. Both projects intend to increase community access to clean water, improve food security, and provide education on sanitation, nutrition, and environmental protection. According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, only 68% of people in rural Nicaragua have access to safe drinking water. Many families are forced to collect water from streams and unprotected wells. "Water For People" will work in the communities of San Rafael del Norte and partner with the local government, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, and three coffee cooperatives. GMCR will provide $1,250,000 over five years for Water For People's ambitious plan to provide full water coverage to the entire municipality of San Rafael del Norte by 2017.

According to Ned Breslin, Water For People CEO, "This strategic investment by GMCR will help change the lives for thousands of people in San Rafael del Norte, and more importantly, it will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout the country so that the entire nation of Nicaragua can meet its water challenges in the future."

At the same time, GMCR will provide $961,359  over three years to a water project coordinated by CII-ASDENIC, the Association of Social Development of Nicaragua. The project's goal is to improve the quality of life for 800 rural families in 10 coffee-producing communities. If the project meets its goals, by the end of the third year 90% of the families will have access to potable water, 30% will have improved food security due to better access to water, and all communities will have a greater ability to adapt to climate change. Together these interventions will revitalize, strengthen, and diversify the smallholder farmer's local economy.

"This partnership supports CII-ASDENIC's continued efforts to improve the quality of life for those living in Northern Nicaragua," said Raul Diaz, Director of CII-ASDENIC. "Access to clean, potable water is essential for improving the health and food security of these vulnerable families."

Together, the water projects are expected to improve the lives of almost 3000 families. "Our strategic grant making is designed to help source communities address the root of local challenges while enhancing supply chain stability," said Michael Dupee, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for GMCR.


Vermont Grantmaking: Water, Food and Education

Our connection to Vermont as a company runs deep. In addition to being founded over 30 years ago in Waitsfield, Vermont, we continue to grow and invest in Vermont communities. This week we were named the largest Vermont-based business for the second year in a row by Vermont Business Magazine. We are commited to Vermont to grow our business, but are also dedicated to improving the sustainability and quality of life of the all the communities where GMCR employees live and work.Photo of Lake Champlain, Vermont during Winter

Through Employee Community Grant Programs at each of our employee sites in the United States and Canada, we provide grants to organizations and projects that address specific issues aligned with environmental stewardship, strong local systems, and economic prosperity. Each employee site has its own grant program and review team, and each directs their philanthropic efforts and resources to a set of specific focus areas that are meaningful for their employees and relevant to their unique community.

In Vermont, we provide funding to organizations working within the focus areas of Clean Water, Access to Quality Education, and Sustainable Food Systems. As we start a new year, we thought we would reflect on some of the grants awarded our fiscal 2012.

Clean Water & Healthy Rivers, Lakes and Shorelines:

  • Composting Association of Vermont Filter Sock Project II: Two demonstration projects and post implementation workshops. One project will take place in Jamaica, repairing a 6,000 sq. ft. area of steep sidehill that collapsed during Irene, taking out a section of road and stream bank. 
  • Vermont Natural Resources Council support for a one-day River Conference organized after Irene to bring together multiple sectors to learn about and discuss science-based river management practices in order to properly educate about the best decisions in emergency situations.
  • Friends of the Mad River support for Watershed Restoration and Resiliency effort. Funding will support planning efforts, public education, riparian buffer improvement and more to mitigate flood damage in the future.

Sustainable Food Systems:

  • VT-FEED is a collaborative Farm to School (FTS) project of Shelburne Farms, NOFA-VT and Food Works with the goal to have well-supported FTS programming in every Vermont community by 2020.  When all Vermont schoolchildren to have multiple, repeated exposure to quality food, farm, and nutrition education throughout their schooling, they will not only will learn and appreciate where food comes from, but they will also internalize healthy eating habits that contribute to their overall health and the wellness of their communities. 
  • Center for Sustainable Systems works with local high school teachers to use the food system to deliver purposeful, experiential lessons to all students, across a variety of academic disciplines. Teachers are developing curriculum to use in the classroom to be paired with field work in school-based gardens and at Food Works' Two Rivers farm.

Access to Quality Education:

  • Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) program support for the Year of the Book for Johnson Elementary school, two rural author/illustrator presentations, and two at-risk literacy and storytelling presentations.
  • Young Writers Project  general operating support. Funding will support improvement of YWP Schools Project including improvement of ongoing training of teachers, expansion of a graduate course for teachers and efficacy study of its work; website redesign; and development of a strategic plan.
  • Audubon Vermont support for the "Opening New Eyes to Nature" program, which will help to support outdoor programs year round for 80 schools. 

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."



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!



Helping Homeowners in Our Own Backyard

Home ownership is something that most of us dream to accomplish. Ownership evokes a feeling pride and success.  Financial or physical issues that prevent proper maintenance can sometimes threaten this dream. That’s where Operation Backyard steps in.

Operation Backyard GMCR Grantee

Operation Backyard is a Knoxville Leadership Foundation program that works to improve the homes of those who cannot afford to do it themselves. These small renovations and fixes enable homeowners to stay in their houses and help maintain the value of the home and neighborhood. This program works to build healthier communities, one house at a time. The Operation Backyard program is a grantee from our Knoxville, TN Employee Community Grant Program for the past two years.

GMCR Grantee Operation Backyard Ramp Build  GMCR Grantee Operation Backyard Ramp Build  

On Wednesday, November 7th, a group of 5 Knoxville employees, using their company sponsored volunteer time, built an 18’ handicap ramp at the home of Geraldine. Geraldine is a hemodialysis patient who must use a wheelchair/stretcher to get in and out of her house. The ramp was built attached to her front porch to make the process of coming and going for treatments a little easier. The group expressed that they had a great time and look forward to doing more projects with Operation Backyard.


Honoring Our Troops this Veteran's Day

Today, we honor those who have served in our military. 

Veteran's Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to those who who have served.


Here at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. we too honor our soldiers. As I’m sure many of you have heard from service men and women is the importance of coffee while in the field; especially good coffee. It is a comfort from home and a small luxury while on duty.

That is why we donate thousands of pounds of coffee to troops serving Afghanistan every year. We work with a great organization called Holy Joe’s Café, that provides coffee in a café setting at bases in Afghanistan. Soldiers can go to the cafés for spiritual guidance from the Chaplains, listen to music on open mic nights, or just enjoy a great cup of Green Mountain Coffee’s Dark Magic.

When our very own Vermont National Guard deployed to Afghanistan, we knew that the comforts from Vermont that they would miss would include maple syrup and Green Mountain Coffee. Again, working with Holy Joe’s Café, every Vermont National Guard Chaplain has received coffee which will find its way into the hands of the Green Mountain Boys.

Thank you Holy Joe’s for helping us make an impact in our soldiers’ lives as they make a sacrifice for us. 


Illuminating the Haunted Forest

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

Vermont Foodbank GMCR Pumpkin Carving


For the second year, employees at multiple locations in Vermont carved pumpkins for The Haunted Forest. The Haunted Forest is a non-profit event dedicated to producing a fun and exciting community Halloween event. The Forest is an event that combines outdoor theater, special effects, the magic of the night forest and the “spirit” of Halloween. Guests are led by mysterious guides through a dark forest path lined with over 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns and encounter characters performing Halloween-themed scenes. GMCR employees carved more than 100 of the 1,000 pumpkins that lit the path through the forest.

GMCR carved pumpkins for The Haunted Forest in Vermont GMCR Employees carving pumpkins


We also had employees carve pumpkins for The Vermont Foodbank as a way to raise awareness about hunger in Vermont. The pumpkins were placed in local businesses throughout Montpelier.



Welcome to Honduras - Honduran Coffee Coop Visit

Jose Danilo with a bunch of Lenca school kids, who are children of farmers

Jose Danilo with a bunch of Lenca school kids, who are children of farmers

You might think of Honduras as the country next to Nicaragua in Central America or where the great diving on Roatan Island is. But it is also the 8th largest grower of coffee in the world and grows more coffee than Guatemala. 

Honduras is one of our larger suppliers of Fair Trade Organic coffee and we were long overdue for a visit to see some of our suppliers down there. Last week we hosted 6 different coops for 2 days of cupping, meetings, plant tours, some tourism, and plenty of good food. 

One of the guests named Jose Danilo Mejia is the president of CARSBIL. His coop is based in the department of Intibuca, and the offices are in “The City of Hope” (Ciudad de la Esperanza). When I picked them up at the hotel, he and I hit it right off as he heard that I raise animals and do a lot of gardening. He was impressed, though he might be less impressed if he saw how non-profit my small farm in Vermont is. 

It turns out Jose Danilo is Lenca, a sub category of the Mayan races that populated (and still do) Mesoamerica. It’s amazing how many different indigenous groups there are who grow coffee that ends up in my cup of coffee. He shared a bunch of pictures from his community that I thought were very interesting:

He said that this school bus is actually run by the community for local transportation, where it’s mostly used by coffee farmers to get around. It was stuck in the mud… And in the second picture you can see why!


Last year they used their Fair Trade social premiums to build 14 kilometers of road to one of their remote communities. Here’s an example of an improved road in the third picture. 


Traveling in Nicaragua: Most Significant Change


Recently, Rick and Mary Beth had the opportunity to visit three Supply Chain Outreach-supported projects focused on food security, potable water, and sanitation with coffee farmers in Nicaragua.


They spent two days in Matagalpa with members of the coffee cooperative CECOCAFEN conducting Most Significant Change interviews. As the name implies, they asked the project participants what was significantly different in their lives as a result of the food security project. Many they spoke with told them that ‘the thin months’ had changed: they not only had more food, but also more diverse food year-round or nearly year-round now – a big change from 4 years ago, before the project started, when most reported 3-4 months of extreme scarcity of food every year.


They also spent time with nonprofit Water for People in Jinotega learning about their progress towards providing year-round access to potable water and improved sanitation in homes and schools. In Estelí,  GMCR supports a project with CII-ASDENIC, a local Nicaraguan nonprofit, that brought potable water to people’s homes, allowing them to leave behind the chore of walking several hours each day up the mountain to get water for their family. The families also received vegetable seeds that allowed them to establish family gardens, providing another source of nutritious food throughout the year.


They spent their final day with our Nicaraguan project partners in a training focused on our guidelines for how projects should monitor and report their progress and impact to GMCR. It was a great conversation and we are eager to follow the projects’ progress and continue to share this exciting work with all of GMCR.


Building Demand for Certified Coffees

Increasing demand for high-quality products that are sustainably produced is core to our business strategy. In fiscal 2011, we expanded our efforts to offer and promote products such as Fair Trade Certified™, Rainforest Alliance Certified™, and organic coffees, helping to widen adoption of socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

In fiscal 2011 we:
- increased the volume of sustainably certified coffees we sold from 25% to 28% - a significant gain considering that overall coffee sales increased by 52%
-continued to educate consumers, suppliers, and employees about the value and benefits of sustainable products, through the support of community outreach programs run by organizations such as Fair Trade USA

Certified Coffee Shipped Infographic

We also continued our commitment to our Farm Identified (Farm ID) program - a cornerstone of our sourcing strategy. Our Farm ID program is an alternative to conventional sourcing through the anonymous commodity market. It represents our overall commitment to working together with our supply-chain partners, and not simply buying from them. In fiscal 2011, 34% of the coffee we purchased was Farm Identified. A portion of this is also certified coffee; other Farm Identified suppliers are at the beginning of their journey to sustainable coffee production.


Reducing Our Impact

We strive to understand our environmental footprint and work to reduce the impacts of both our operations and our products.

Our operational focus in fiscal 2011 remained on building robust management systems to help us

- meet our compliance responsibilities,
- minimize waste, and
- improve energy efficiency in our existing facilities and newly acquired sites.

With regard to product sustainability, we further reduced packaging and expanded programs that divert returned Keurig® brewers from retail and used K-Cup® packs in the office environment from the waste stream. These efforts not only protect the environment, but many also help us save money while better meeting our stakeholders’ expectations.

GMCR Facility Sumner, WA Waste Diversion Infographic

One of the big wins during fiscal 11 was the work our Sumner, WA facility did around waste diversion. In fiscal 11 Q4 alone, they composted 133 tons of waste! Knoxville also surpassed their waste diversion goal of -15% to -49%!

To read the full fiscal 2011 CSR Report, visit


$2.96 Million in Grants and Donated Product to Local Communities!

At GMCR we have a long history of supporting the communities we live, work and do business. 

GMCR Grantee The Food Project

As our business evolves, we are evoling what that support looks like. In addition to contributing $2.96 Million in grants and donated product to local communities:

- We expanded our employee community grantmaking programs via locally focused teams that promote strong local systems, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity. In fiscal 2011 we provided grants in communities surrounding our Castroville, Knoxville, Reading, Sumner, Toronto, and Vermont facilities;

- Through our employee volunteerism programs, we contributed more than 29,000 hours of volunteer time, an increase of nearly 100% from fiscal 2010; and 

- We match individual employee donations 100% up to $1,000 per fiscal year. Overall, GMCR matched $130,134 in employee contributions in fiscal 2011.

For more information on how GMCR is supporting communities in the United State and Canada, visit the Supporting Local Communities page on



More than 200,000 Individuals Impacted through Food-Security Support

GMCR Supply-Chain Project by Outreach Area Fiscal 2011

We have a long history of working with our supply-chain communities, which now expands beyond coffee-growing communities. We are proud to report that in fiscal 2011 we allocated over $8 million in resources to help suppliers receive a fair price for their products, make business decisions that support their families, and build healthy, environmentally sound communities through monetary grants.

Since the research that led to the production of the documentary “After The Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands”, we’ve focused much of our outreach in coffee-growing communities to food-security projects. In fact, in fiscal 2011 we started or expanded 20 food-security projects that reached approximately 19,000 families in our supply chain. And since 2008 our support of of food-security projects have impacted more than 200,000 individuals within our supply chain.  

We continued that focus but also funded other supply-chain projects in the areas of water, environmental stewardship, education, economic development, and health.

You can read more about our supply-chain community outreach and our other sustainbility programs by downloading our full fiscal 2011 CSR Report.




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: