On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Heifer International Headquarters enjoyed a Coffee Social and small fair, which celebrated the recent approval of Heifer's work with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) in Peru and Honduras.
The panel included Heifer's President and CEO Pierre Ferrari, Americas Vice President Oscar Castañeda, Guatemala Country Director Gustavo Hernandez and Global Partnerships and Alliances team member Kenny Clark. Rick Peyser and Colleen Popkin of GMCR also joined the panel by phone to answer questions.
The joint partnership aims to end "los meses flacos," or "the thin months," for 8,000 smallholder farmers in the Central and South America coffeelands. The "thin months" occur after the coffee harvest during the rainy season. Hernandez said during this time many coffee farmers lack proper nutrition for their families and may have to borrow money to survive throughout the year. He added that education is critical to make the correct and positive social changes.
"Something very important is that Green Mountain is leading more coffee farmers to earn more resources and to build food security in their communities," Hernandez said. "That is the point of the partnership that we have. Our mission is to end hunger, to end poverty, and we are together in this challenge."
"The Heifer team in the Americas has taken great strides," Popkin said, encouraging Heifer staff to keep up the good work.
GMCR representative Rick Peyser agreed, saying, "We appreciate greatly the tremendous work that [Heifer International] is doing on the ground and the impact that [it's] having."
Heifer International and GMCR hope other organizations will join the efforts to continue working toward food security in the coffeelands.