WATERBURY, VT., and SAN FRANCISCO, CA, (March 22, 2010) - Green Mountain Coffee® (NASDAQ: GMCR) today released its limited edition Spring Revival™ Blend, featuring Fair Trade Certified™ coffee from Rwanda. Spring Revival Blend is the result of a partnership between Green Mountain Coffee, the Cordes Foundation, and TransFair USA, the leading third-party agency to certify Fair Trade products in the United States. Announced last year during the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, the partnership aims to raise awareness of the Rwandan coffee story, increase consumer demand for the country’s specialty coffee, and inform U.S. consumers that everyday purchases—such as a cup of coffee—can echo across continents to help alleviate poverty in the developing world.
For consumers thirsty to make a difference, Green Mountain Coffee’s Spring Revival Blend is a seasonal blend that offers sweet aromas, balanced flavors and a compelling story of hope. Kenneth Davids, editor of the independent Coffee Review, awarded Spring Revival Blend an outstanding score of 90 on a 100-point scale. The coffee is available in 10-ounce bags, 2.2 ounce fractional packages, and K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers through June 4, 2010 at participating retailers and at www.GreenMountainCoffee.com.
“Rwandan farmers are playing an increasingly important role in specialty coffee, and have developed a well-deserved reputation for producing extraordinary beans,” said Lindsey Bolger, Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships for the Specialty Coffee Business Unit of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. “Fair Trade pricing and more direct access to roasters allows these small-scale farmers to receive real value for their high-quality coffees, while dramatically improving their communities and contributing to the country’s long-term, sustained economic development.”
Known as the “land of a thousand hills,” Rwanda’s high altitudes, rich climate and predictable rainfall create a perfect microclimate for coffee farms. However, years of conflict and political unrest have made it challenging for farmers to earn a living from their crops—until now. The joint Clinton Global Initiative commitment of the Cordes Foundation, TransFair USA, and Green Mountain Coffee—valued at $250,000—is helping the Rwanda farming cooperatives KOAKAKA and ABAKUNDAKAWA build thriving international coffee enterprises and market their products directly to the largest consumer market in the world—the United States.
“Coffee is playing a critical role in Rwanda’s economic revitalization and represents a lifeline for farmers cultivating small plots, typically isolated from international buyers and crucial services,” said Paul Rice, CEO and president of TransFair USA. “This program will empower these farmers to tell their stories to American consumers. And because of their involvement in the Fair Trade system, the farmers and workers receive a higher market price for their goods and improved terms of trade, which in turn, dramatically improves their lives. Fair Trade empowers U.S. consumers to reduce poverty through their everyday purchases.”
Said Christine Condo, executive director of the Rwanda Economic Development Initiative, “They [KOAKAKA] have built new roads and can now afford to pay the school fees for the children of their members. In Africa, it’s very difficult for villagers to attend school, but since the cooperative became Fair Trade Certified, the majority of members, 90 percent, can send their children to school thanks to Fair Trade. This is incredibly important for the farmers, and the higher prices that they have received from Fair Trade have increased their motivation and improved their lives in real terms. Fair Trade has also helped them improve their individual and communal health as they now can afford health care. This is a great thing; it doesn’t just decrease poverty, but also improves their daily lives.”
Having worked in Rwanda for more than three years, TransFair USA provides local farming cooperatives with targeted training and links to international marketplaces. For more than 35,000 Rwandan coffee families, Fair Trade certification has translated into new schools, improved healthcare, new clean water wells, and long-term economic security. Sales of Spring Revival Blend will continue to generate additional income for farmers as well as Fair Trade premium funds to invest in social programs. Overall, GMCR purchased over 16.2 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee from Africa, Asia and Latin America during its fiscal 2009. These purchases resulted in over $1.6 million in social premiums paid to farmers in the developing world.
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. TransFair USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages. TransFair USA educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farmers with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit www.transfairusa.org for more information.
About Green Mountain Coffee and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR)
As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR’s operations are managed through two business units. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces coffee, tea and hot cocoa from its family of brands, including Green Mountain Coffee®, Newman’s Own® Organics coffee, Tully’s Coffee®, and Timothy’s World Coffee®. The Keurig business unit is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers are produced by a variety of licensed roasters and brands, including Green Mountain Coffee, Tully’s Coffee and Timothy’s. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects. Visit www.gmcr.com for more information.
About the Cordes Foundation
The Cordes Foundation was founded in 2006 by Ron and Marty Cordes, and seeks to play the role of a catalytic investor in innovative projects designed to utilize market-based solutions to fight global poverty. The Foundation is currently involved in projects promoting homeownership for low-income families in the United States as well as microfinance, Fair Trade agriculture, and sustainable schools in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The 2010 CGI Annual Meeting will take place from September 21-23, 2010, in New York City. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, and MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make their own Commitment to Action. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.