Clinton Global Initiative Announces Innovative Coffee Partnership
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green Mountain Coffee Pledges $450,000 to Root Capital for
Financial Literacy in Farmer Communities.
New York City, September 25, 2008 – The Clinton Global Initiative announces an innovative
partnership between Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) and Root Capital to improve the
financial literacy and management skills of rural-based businesses in Latin America and Africa,
which include many of GMCR’s coffee suppliers.
Jane Wales, Chair of the Clinton Global Initiative’s poverty alleviation working group, recognized
William Foote, President and Founder of Root Capital, and Michael Dupee, Vice President of
Corporate Social Responsibility for GMCR, on stage as part of a session focused on cutting-edge
efforts to enhance agricultural productivity and inventive models that help small farmers gain
access to markets.
GMCR made a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to support Root Capital’s efforts to
expand its financial training with a five-year, $450,000 grant – the largest single grant in GMCR
history. Since its launch, Root Capital has provided more than $100 million in loans to cashstrapped
farmers, artisans, and other small-holder producers, including nearly $50 millionspecifically to
GMCR coffee suppliers.
After six years of lending activity, Root Capital realized that these enterprises need more than
credit to improve livelihoods in the long term. Many grassroots businesses in the developing world
lack basic financial management skills and the ability to apply for and manage capital from local
banks. In 2006, with GMCR’s support, Root Capital launched a pilot financial education and training
program in northern Latin America to develop basic financial and management skills among
members and leaders of 50 grassroots businesses. Twelve of these enterprises are GMCR
suppliers, representing over 10,000 members.
“Root Capital’s innovative work in providing financial services to the underserved global community
of grassroots businesses has helped us better serve all our stakeholders and meet our own goals
around reducing poverty and hunger in the communities we touch,” said Dupee. “Our partnership
helps create economic opportunity, support entrepreneurial activity, and provide economic
incentives for sustainable natural resource management in rural communities worldwide.”
As part of its continued dedication to supporting the coffee-growing communities that make up its
supply chain, GMCR ’s announced commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative will support Root
Capital in the next critical growth stage of the program. Through this partnership, GMCR will
enable Root Capital’s launch of the program in South America and Africa, addressing the
immediate need for strong financial management within grassroots businesses, while building the
long-term financial capacity of entire rural communities. In total, from 2009 to 2012 Root Capital
will build the financial expertise among the leaders of 150 grassroots businesses, representing
nearly 100,000 farmers and artisans in 12 countries.
“We are tremendously appreciative of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ support and the Clinton
Global Initiative’s recognition of our work,” said Foote. “With access to markets, financial services,
and financial training, together we will enable rural communities to lift themselves out of poverty
while strengthening the health of our planet.”
Root Capital is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses that build sustainable livelihoods and
transform rural communities in poor, environmentally vulnerable places. By working with small
and growing businesses such as farmer cooperatives and artisan associations, Root Capital aims
to fill the “missing middle” of finance in developing countries – the underserved gap between
microcredit and commercial financial institutions. Since its launch, Root Capital has provided
financial training and more than $100 million in credit to 210 grassroots enterprises in 30
countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia—with a 99% repayment rate.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is recognized as a leader in the
specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees and successful business practices. The
Company sells over 100 high quality selections, including Fair Trade Certified™ and organic
coffees under the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters® and Newman's Own® Organics brands.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has been ranked No. 1 on the list of "100 Best Corporate
Citizens" for the past two years, and has been recognized repeatedly by Forbes, FORTUNE
Small Business, and the Society of Human Resource Management as an innovative, high-growth,
socially responsible company.
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 as a project of the non-partisan William J. Clinton Foundation, 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 members have made
nearly 1,000 Commitments to Action valued at upwards of $30 billion to improve more than 200
million lives in over 150 countries around the world. Through past Annual Meetings, CGI has
brought together more than 80 current and former heads of state, hundreds of top CEOs and
non-profit leaders, major philanthropists, and 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.