Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) recently made a $200,000 donation in the form of a 2-year grant to the Coffeelands Trust, a fund that connects the international coffee community to victims of conflict in coffee growing regions. The trust provides direct funding to coffee farmers and their families to improve coffee farms and help with food security, and it pays for artificial limbs, physical therapy, vocational training and other related services that have a direct and lasting impact on improving the lives of coffee farmers and their communities.
GMCR has supported the Coffeelands Trust since 2007. Mini-grants from GMCR have been distributed to coffee farmers in coffee communities in Nicaragua, Colombia and Peru. Because the Polus Center has established the sustainable infrastructure to support landmine victims in these regions, funds provided by the Coffeelands Trust go directly to coffee farmers and their families to provide rehabilitation services and help them establish a means of earning a viable income through small business mini-grants. Private donations from coffee companies such as GMCR have been generously matched by other funders such as the United States Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) as well as by private foundations.
Thanks to support from generous donors such as GMCR, the Coffeelands Trust continues to help coffee farmers revitalize their farms by improving their mobility, planting new crops, and helping survivors find employment opportunities throughout the value chain of the coffee industry. Outreach workers work cooperatively with agronomists and travel to local coffee communities to assist small farmers who are also victims of conflict. In 2011, the Polus Center established the Coffeelands World Gifts Espresso Café to sell handicrafts made by people living in coffee regions as an alternative source of income through their Clinton Massachusetts retail store and online at www.coffeelandscafe.org. All proceeds from the café contribute to the Coffeelands Trust and other projects for people with disabilities supported by the Polus Center.