Portland, Oregon-based green coffee trading company Sustainable Harvest has seeded a donation fund with $156,000 to support coffee producers during COVID-19 restrictions, and the company is asking others in the industry to contribute through GoFundMe.
Sustainable Harvest plans to use the donations to provide relief kits to coffee-producing communities that may include staple foods, personal protective equipment (PPE) for coffee producers and essential workers, and cleaning and sanitation supplies.
“The exact contents of each kit are determined by the needs of their communities,” the group said in an announcement of the campaign. “Kits will be distributed by our producer partners, a reminder of the importance of strong institutions, like farmer cooperatives, in times of crisis.”
The Sustainable Harvest announcement was made in conjunction with a special campaign of #GivingTuesday, an international nonprofit effort that typically involves requests for donations in the week following Thanksgiving. Today, that group is pushing for groups and individuals to donate towards COVID-19 relief efforts.
It also comes as coffee-producing communities — which tend to be in more remote and rural areas — are by many accounts facing food security issues, and labor and market access issues, as COVID-19 mitigation measures spread throughout the world.
“We’ve been in constant communication with all of our producer partners since the start of the crisis, and our teams at origin have been closely monitoring the measures governments have been taking to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Sustainable Harvest Founder and CEO David Griswold said in an announcement of the effort. “Many farming communities already live in remote areas with limited access to safe, affordable food and medicines. With this fund, we are doing what we can to support the efforts of these inspiring producer organizations.”
Sustainable Harvest estimates that its initial contribution of $156,000 will provide kits to some 5,600 coffee-farming families across 16 producer groups in five countries, yet is imploring others in the industry to chip in.
Said Sustainable Harvest, “The number of families in need of aid is much greater and will only continue to grow over the coming weeks.”
Here’s the campaign’s GoFundMe page.