The coffee community-focused nonprofit Food 4 Farmers has hired its first ever executive director, international development expert Alyson Welch.
Welch joins the 10-year-old nonprofit after nearly three years at the Washington D.C.-area international development agency DAI, and more than six years at the internationally focused engineering services firm Tetra Tech.
In positions with those firms, Welch was “responsible for a large portfolio of USAID-funded projects focused on the environment, economic development, governance, and land rights issues,” according to an announcement from Food 4 Farmers, which is based in Burlington, Vermont.
Since 2011, Food 4 Farmers has been helping to lead local-community-driven programs in parts of Latin America, primarily in coffee-growing communities, to improve livelihoods and address food insecurity among smallholder farm families.
“The challenges faced by coffee farming families have never been greater,” Food 4 Farmers co-founder, board member and coffee sustainability pioneer Rick Peyser said in an announcement of the appointment. “The increasingly harsh impacts of climate change are exacerbating ongoing, systemic food insecurity that has plagued small-scale coffee farming families for decades. Bringing Aly in to lead our organization will strengthen our capacity — and theirs — to address this critical need.”
F4F said Welch will work closely with co-founders Janice Nadworny and Marcela Pino as the group heads into its second decade.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Food 4 Farmers’ livelihoods approach to alleviating food insecurity, and I’m excited about the organization’s progress over the past 10 years,” Welch said. “For me, this is a wonderful opportunity to return to Vermont, where I grew up, and apply what I’ve learned in leading this mission-driven nonprofit.”