NCA names inaugural Coffee Charity of the Year

The National Coffee Association (NCA) has named Grounds for Health as the inaugural recipient of the NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award. Two finalists that merited special mention were Coffeelands Trust, a project of the Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, and The Coffee Trust. Smallholder farmers across the world, regardless of their crop they farm, face a wide array of challenges – from weather and changing climate, to the infrastructure issues prevalent across developing nations, such as a lack of medical care, schools, and other services. The new NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award aims to spotlight the organizations working in coffee communities around the world to help those farmers challenged by such circumstances. This year's recipient demonstrates the power of focusing on a problem that has a solution. Grounds for Health addresses one of the most significant disparities in women's health globally. Cervical cancer is a nearly 10 per cent preventable disease, and yet in the next 15 years it is expected to kill six million women – 90 per cent of whom will live in developing countries. Considering that women do an estimated 70 per cent of the fieldwork on coffee farms globally, providing basic screenings and preventative care can have a huge impact across families, farms, and communities. “Our judges felt that Grounds for Health earned this honour because of their accomplishment, their efficiency, and their commitment to improving the lives of female coffee farmers by addressing women's health in underserved coffee communities,” said William Murray, President & CEO of the NCA. The award will be presented at the NCA 2018 Annual Convention in New Orleans on March 16. The charity will attend the Convention as a guest of NCA, and present its program to the NCA's leadership during a Board of Directors' meeting. The NCA website will also feature a link encouraging donations directly to the organization.    “We are honoured to have been selected as the first winners of the NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award,” said Ellen Starr, Executive Director of Grounds for Health. “Our work in the coffee regions of Latin American and East Africa has been supported in great measure by the coffee industry. This award highlights our shared commitment to providing cervical cancer prevention for women in the coffee lands. Our relationship demonstrates just how much social change can be achieved when an industry fundamentally cares about its people at every step of the supply chain.” Coffeelands Trust, one of the finalists that received a special mention, supports coffee farmers and their families who have been impacted by landmines and conflict. The Coffee Trust, the other charity to get a special mention, helps empower indigenous coffee farmers to improve their agricultural practices, diversify their incomes, and grow/raise healthy food for their families. “As the industry leader, NCA felt that it was important to honour, support – and help spread the word – about the incredible work being done by so many to help coffee communities worldwide,” said NCA's Murray. NCA membership is not a prerequisite for participation in the Coffee Gives Back Program. The deadline for the 2019 NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award will be set for September. Applications for the NCA Coffee Gives Back Showcase are accepted on a rolling basis.

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