Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hispanic Federation to plant 2.25 million coffee trees in Puerto Rico as part of 2017 hurricane recovery efforts

By on October 22, 2019

George Clooney, Lin-Manuel Miranda to promote Nespresso’s new Puerto Rican coffee

SAN JUAN — The Hispanic Federation, in partnership with World Coffee Research, Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters and Nespresso, announced a “renewed goal” in the coffee sector revitalization efforts in Puerto Rico.

The organizations made a commitment to provide local farmers an additional 2.25 million coffee trees to plant on the island’s farms over the next three years.

After hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed 80 percent of the island’s coffee trees and harvest, the crop was virtually gone, explains a press release by the federation, which was founded and presided by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s father, Luis.

“Through our partnership with Nespresso and other committed and vital institutions, we are working to help coffee farmers restore their crops and lands,” said Hispanic Federation President José Calderón. “This multi-year collaborative effort has the power to transform the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the future of local communities, all the while revitalizing a fundamental sector of Puerto Rico’s economy.” 

To date, Hispanic Federation has committed more than $30 million to more than 116 local initiatives and non-profit organizations leading a recovery effort addressing sustainable agriculture and food security, housing and community development, local workforce and economic development, renewable energy and environment, physical and mental health, arts and culture, education, and emergency relief.

Nespresso has made an initial investment of $1 million and 50,000 trees. The brand has been working directly with farmers since late 2018. It launched Monday its first-ever Puerto Rican coffee – Cafecito de Puerto Rico – “a limited edition, extremely rare coffee available exclusively in the U.S.A, and Puerto Rico,” according to the release.

“For over 25 years, Nespresso has worked directly with farmers and local organizations in coffee-growing areas across the globe to help build sustainable coffee sectors,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, president and CEO of Nespresso USA. “We are proud to work with the Hispanic Federation to help Puerto Rico’s farmers rebuild their farms and strengthen the island’s coffee industry. We have seen first-hand the power quality coffee can have on improving livelihoods and rebuilding communities.”

Consumers who donate to the Hispanic Federation can have first access to Cafecito de Puerto Rico and help in the tree planting effort. Every dollar donated will provide one new coffee tree on the island. The brand also created a limited edition recycling bag featuring artwork by Puerto Rican artist Gerardo Cloquell. Each recycling bag represents one new coffee tree that will be planted on the island.

George Clooney and Lin-Manuel Miranda in Puerto Rico (Courtesy)

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Nespresso Ambassador George Clooney joined forces with Nespresso and the Hispanic Federation to champion the importance of coffee farming in Puerto Rico and spotlight the transformative power coffee can have on farmer livelihoods, communities and the island’s revitalization efforts. Their conversation about coffee culture in Puerto Rico and the needs of the island is documented here.

“The importance of coffee to the Puerto Rican culture is everything,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda. “I’m thrilled that we’re able to see a positive result come of this meaningful initiative that my family, the Hispanic Federation and Nespresso have all been able to support.”

In October 2018, working alongside founding partners like Nespresso and global non-profits TechnoServe and World Coffee Research, among other organizations, the Hispanic Federation announced a three-year initiative and the first investment of $1 million to revitalize Puerto Rico’s coffee industry.