Help Pours Out for Growers


Growers First, a Laguna Beach-based nonprofit helping improve the livelihood of 687 family coffee farmers in 20 villages in Honduras and Mexico, expects to double the number of families they serve next year due mostly to local supporters.

Contributors from professionals to students have all contributed their talents to helping these family farmers find hope and dignity, said Dave Day, the founding president, citing support from local business and community leaders including Tom Berryman, Sarah Metherell, Mike Shepard, Jeff Tackland, and David Vanderveen.

Day, a specialty coffee buyer on a trip to Central America, was struck by the economic and social injustice of small indigenous growers receiving a disproportionately low percentage of the revenue that developing countries reap from coffee production, often their largest cash crop.

“The conditions I saw had a profound effect on me, so much so that I wanted to dedicate my life’s work to empowering these families to find their own way out of poverty,” he said.

The nonprofit claims to boost the annual incomes of the families it serves by training volunteer outreach teams to travel to remote villages to provide tools, resources and aid. Since 2000, more than 400 volunteers have participated in more than 65 trips.

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