Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has joined a public/private alliance to help reduce hunger among small-scale coffee farmers and their families in the Western Highland region of Guatemala.
The alliance, known as the Inclusive Market Alliance for Rural Entrepreneurs (IMARE), is being coordinated by the United States Agency for International Development and the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corpsare. IMARE is part of a U.S. Presidential initiative that supports Guatemala’s “Zero Hunger Pact,” a government initiative to reduce hunger and malnutrition.
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.
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.