Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spark MicroGrants partners with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. to bring microgrants to 16 coffee growing communities in eastern Uganda

In March 2012 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) and Spark MicroGrants initiated a new partnership to bring Spark’s innovative process of proactive microgranting to villages where GMCR sources coffee. The partnership seeks to address hardships that coffee farmers face on Mount Elgon, Uganda including seasonal poverty that leads to acute food and financial insecurity. Farmers have reported a host of additional challenges including access to clean water, technical skills building and financial planning. Concerned by these challenges GMCR sought to support farmers with locally appropriate solutions. GMCR and Spark’s partnership will be an investment into the livelihoods of farmers in the region, utilizing innovative methods of catalyzing locally-led solutions.

Spark will engage with 16 coffee growing communities in Uganda, through its novel microgranting process. Spark will enroll two Ugandan university graduates already familiar with the region and issues at hand in a facilitator fellowship program. Each facilitator will guide communities through a three to six month process where they will identify a regional issue, develop their own solution, and implement their own project. They will receive trainings, develop leadership skills, and build their organizational capacity through the process. Through Spark’s work, coffee farmers will become local agents of change.

The partnership between GMCR and Spark MicroGrants is a milestone for Spark’s work in East Africa. It is increasing Spark’s efforts in Uganda by threefold.

As the program unfolds, you can track progress on our website:

About GMCR:
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) was founded in 1981 as a small café in Waitsfield, Vermont. Today, GMCR is recognized as a leader in specialty coffee and coffeemakers, and acknowledged for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

GMCR’s business success enables them to invest in a more just and sustainable future — whether through sales of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, energy and waste reduction programs, awareness building campaigns, new product development, employee benefits, projects in supply-chain communities, volunteerism, grants, or product donations. GMCR has been recognized consistently by Forbes, Fortune, and CR Magazine as an innovative, high-growth, socially responsible company.

Learn more here: