Sustainable Harvest establishes COVID-19 producer relief fund

Green coffee importer Sustainable Harvest has established a relief fund to provide direct aid to farming families in producing countries that have been significantly impacted by the global health crisis.

Sustainable Harvest seeded the fund with a donation of US$156,000 and is calling upon the industry to join the effort.

“We’ve been in constant communication with all of our producer partners since the start of the crisis, and our teams at origin have been closely monitoring the measures governments have been taking to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Sustainable Harvest Founder and CEO David Griswold says.

“Many farming communities already live in remote areas with limited access to safe, affordable food and medicines. With this fund, we are doing what we can to support the efforts of these inspiring producer organisations.”

Sustainable Harvest estimates that its initial commitment will reach around 5600 farming families representing more than 22,400 people across 16 producer groups in five countries.

Still, the importer says number of families in need of aid is much greater and will only grow over the coming weeks.

Sustainable Harvest invites coffee drinkers, retailers, roasters, financiers, and allied companies to support this and other producer relief fundraiser efforts. In light of the immediate needs that producer groups are communicating, Sustainable Harvest will direct resources to fund the production of farmer “relief kits.”

These kits will contain staple foods such as pasta, tuna, rice, beans, tortillas and grains, personal protective equipment (PPE) for producers and essential workers, and cleaning supplies to sanitise homes and workplaces. The exact contents of each kit are determined by the needs of their communities. Kits will be distributed by its producer partners, a reminder of the importance of strong institutions, like farmer cooperatives, in times of crisis.

“It's during times like these that our producers must be able to depend on us, just as we regularly depend on them,” says Liam Brody, President of Sustainable Harvest.

“Because our producer partners are just that – our partners. They are the lifeblood of our industry, and it’s our duty to show them that they are not alone.”

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