Indicators of Poverty and Hunger in Coffee Supply Chains
When Green Mountain Coffee Roasters decided to measure the impact of their CSR programs, they asked the Sustainable Food Lab and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) for help. Together, they went into producer communities to identify useful indicators (in partnership with the growers themselves) that would enable the company to assess the ability of coffee growers to make a living. What they didn’t expect was to confront los meses flacos, the thin months, the three or four months every year when many coffee growers and their families experience hunger. The case presents the approach the project team used to develop the indicators, and discusses the challenge of addressing poverty and hunger within something as large as the global coffee market.
Since the research project on indicators, GMCR has initiated a series of innovative projects with coffee growing communities to help address food security based on local priorities and strategies.