Food 4 Farmers appoints first Executive Director

Alyson Welch

American not-for-profit organisation Food 4 Farmers has hired Alyson Welch as its first Executive Director.

In her new role, Welch will work with company co-founders Janice Nadworny and Marcela Pino, along with the company’s board, to tackle challenges faced by rural communities across the globe through Food 4 Farmers local strategies.

Rick Peyser, Co-Founder and Board Member, says, “The challenges faced by coffee farming families have never been greater. 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 organisation will strengthen our capacity – and theirs’ – to address this critical need.”

Welch brings more than 15 years’ experience in development, mainly in Latin America, and has contributed to a range of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded projects that include issues related to environment, economic development, governance, and land rights issues.

USAID is an international development agency that carries out humanitarian efforts across the world.

Welch has also led region focused initiatives that create business in areas such as Belize, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Indonesia, and Mexico.

“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 says.

“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 non-profit.”

Welch has also been previously employed at DAI, an international development company and Tetra Tech ARD, a consulting and engineering service provider.

This move represents Food 4 Farmers greater plans to expand its network and partnerships.

“I’m eager to utilize my experience working in Vermont, Washington, DC, and around the world to now collaborate with the talented team at Food 4 Farmers,” says Welch.

“And, after 10 years of work with coffee cooperatives and families, it’s a timely opportunity for our organization to reflect and invest strategically for the next 10 years.”

Started in 2011, Food 4 Farmers is made up of individuals from across the specialty coffee industry as well as academic researchers and organisations that seek to overcome food insecurity and build sustainable livelihoods for coffee farmers and their communities.

The company collaborates with Latin American coffee communities to build long-term solutions such as coffee cooperatives that improve coffee farmers livelihoods, local food systems, and aid with economic independence.

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