Sustainable Harvest Launches Toolkit in Response to Coffee Leaf Rust Crisis

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Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers takes a leadership role in delivering practical information to Latin American coffee farmers, particularly those committed to organic certification, to help them make informed decisions on how best to recover from the devastation resulting from this year's outbreak of Coffee Leaf Rust (La Roya in Spanish).

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While larger entities are developing their response plans, we felt It was important to move quickly to help coffee farmers who must start making recovery decisions now.

Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers today announced the availability of the Roya Recovery Project Toolkit, a technical guide for Latin American farmers dealing with the devastation caused by Coffee Leaf Rust Disease (La Roya in Spanish). The toolkit is being distributed this week at Let’s Talk Coffee Regional, Sustainable Harvest’s technical workshop taking place in La Fe, Ilama, Santa Barbara, Honduras. The content delivery and workshop represent the next major milestone for the Roya Recovery Project disaster relief effort launched earlier this year with the support from a cross sector of the coffee industry including Cafe Moto, Cafe Mystique, Dillanos, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Oiko Credit and Progreso.

“Smallholder coffee farmers in Latin America are facing devastating losses as a result of this year’s Roya outbreak,” said David Griswold, President and Founder of Sustainable Harvest Coffee. “While larger entities are developing their response plans, we felt It was important to move quickly to help coffee farmers who must start making recovery decisions now.”

Roya is expected to have severe social and economic impact in Central America, a region that produces 75% of the world’s specialty coffee. Between 30 and 70% of the region’s coffee supply and more than 500,000 jobs are at risk prompting three countries - Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica - to declare states of emergency. In May, the government of Peru also declared a state of emergency, signaling the spread of the disease to South America.

Consisting of a DVD and written manual, the Toolkit provides a comprehensive source of technical information based on insight and recommendations from the most credible sources in the Central American coffee industry. Although the technical information is relevant to all, it is geared mainly to the unique needs of smallholder farmers growing certified organic coffee. By aggregating this information and making it broadly available Sustainable Harvest aims to empower farmers to make educated decisions that mitigate the long term impact of Roya.

Sustainable Harvest will be distributing the toolkit to all farmers in the company’s supply chain beginning this week in Honduras during its regional Let’s Talk Coffee event. A global version of the event, Let’s Talk Roya, will be held November 3-5 in El Salvador.

The company is interested in partnering with NGOs, government leaders, private companies and other organizations to get the information into the hands of as many farmers as possible. Options include purchasing toolkits for distribution and/or sponsoring farmers to attend Let’s Talk Roya. Individual copies of the toolkit are available via the project website, http://www.royarecoveryproject.org, can be downloaded for $50 and/or ordered in hardcopy for $50 plus shipping and handling. Volume discounts are offered for those interested in purchasing 25 or more copies.

About Sustainable Harvest
Sustainable Harvest is a specialty coffee importing business that pioneered the Relationship Coffee business model that delivers a high quality, more reliable and consistent product to roasters while boosting financial returns at every level of the supply chain. Established in 1997, the company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and has origin offices in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and Tanzania. Sustainable Harvest invests a significant portion of its annual net earnings in training and other projects to help farmers maximize quality and yield and improve livelihoods. Winner of the 2012 G20 Award, Sustainable Harvest partners with more than 200,000 smallholder farmers to help them secure access to a fair market and ensure a sustainable livelihood. For more information on the company, visit http://www.sustainableharvest.com.

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Pam Kahl
Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers
(503) 235-1119 15
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