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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont is introducing Heifer Hope Blend, a new organic coffee whose sales will help improve the lives of small-scale coffee farmers in Guatemala. Forty cents of every bag purchased will be given to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hunger worldwide.
The partnership between Heifer and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will bring needed assistance to impoverished farmers of the La Voz area in San Juan la Laguna and other communities in Guatemala.
Coffee prices today are so low that many small-scale farmers are unable to make a living growing coffee. With Heifer's help, the farmers at La Voz will learn to grow certified organic, shade-grown premium coffee. Green Mountain Coffee then will buy the coffee from the farmers at fair-trade prices - a guaranteed wage that is higher than what the farmers would get on the conventional market - and roast and package it as Heifer Hope Blend.
The farmers will earn a premium price and Heifer will extend its work to more poor families.
With the money earned by Heifer Hope Blend, Heifer also will help coffee-growing families diversify their sources of income by giving them livestock - cows, goats and other income-producing farm animals. This extra income means better nutrition, housing, health care and education.
Since 1944, Heifer has helped millions of impoverished families move toward self-reliance by
providing them with livestock and earth-friendly agricultural training. Heifer then asks the families to "pass on the gift" by donating their animals' offspring to others, thereby helping to lift entire communities out of poverty.
Green Mountain Coffee has made a commitment to social responsibility and the environment
as well, annually setting aside 5 percent of its pre-tax profits to support charitable causes.
"We are truly excited about partnering with socially and environmentally responsible corporations such as Green Mountain Coffee," said Cynthia Hester, Heifer's director of corporate partnerships. "It's important that nonprofits find new ways of encouraging companies to extend their values into the nonprofit world."