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178. Fresh Cup: Rick Peyser is a character

2011-06-20 Comments Off on 178. Fresh Cup: Rick Peyser is a character

Fresh Cup Magazine has published its annual Coffee Almanac.  The 2011 edition includes great profile of Rick Peyser of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters as part of the magazine’s “Characters in Coffee” series.

The article focuses on Rick’s commitment to address the issue of seasonal hunger in the coffeelands, from the initial field research he commissioned on the issue, to the After the Harvest documentary that made waves at the 2011 SCAA.  Rick has become a friend of CRS and collaborator in programming around the issue of food security, so we were delighted to contribute to the profile of one of specialty coffee’s mild-mannered superheroes: “Green Mountain Man.”

One of the questions Fresh Cup asked CRS to answer for the article was what sort of impact Rick has had in the coffeelands beyond the issue of seasonal hunger.  Our answer didn’t make the cut, so I will share it here.

In Guatemala, GMCR is supporting a CRS project that helps coffee-farming families diversify their income sources.  One of the approaches is helping women establish grassroots businesses.  At one of the initial workshops, the women were asked to share their dreams for themselves and their families.  Several of the women burst into tears as they spoke.  Later, they explained why: no one had ever asked them before what they dreamed of.

It would be cliche to say that Rick is helping people to dream, but it would not be untrue.  In places like Guatemala, where many smallholder farmers have spent most of their lives coping with adversity and want, it is hard to overestimate the power of this contribution.