Ohio Coffee Roaster Leveraging Crowd Funding to Improve Education in Honduran Coffee Farming Village

In the remote coffee-growing community of El Socorro de la Penita, Honduras, fewer than five percent of local children attend school beyond the sixth grade. To help change that, Ohio Coffee Roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has launched an Indiegogo campaign supporting the community’s Jose Cecilio del Valle elementary school.
The campaign seeks $4,800 to add a part-time English-speaking teacher for two years. Currently, a single teacher is responsible for instructing as many as 74 children in the one-room school. Crimson Cup will tap into a network of generous Clintonville coffee house customers and independent coffee shop community members to promote the drive.
Crimson Cup will provide a matching donation of $1 for every donor who shares the hash tag #F2FGive on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, up to $1,500 total. Donors will receive additional incentives ranging from stickers to El Socorro coffee beans to a private coffee cupping at Crimson Cup’s Columbus, Ohio roasting headquarters.
Greg Ubert, founder and president of the coffee roaster and coffee shop franchise alternative, said the educational goal was developed by working with coffee farmers as part of his company’s Friend2Farmer program. “Community leaders recognize that improving education is key to transforming their village from poverty to prosperity,” he said. “Adding a part-time teacher will improve the student-teacher ratio and help students acquire English-speaking skills needed for further education.”
El Socorro is one of the first communities to benefit from Friend2Farmer. Through this program, Crimson Cup is working hand-in-hand with farmers to develop better coffee and a better quality of life for the farmers, their families and their community.
“As coffee roasters, it’s important for us to protect the integrity of the bean from seed to cup,” Ubert said. “This requires honoring the work of small-plot coffee farmers and ensuring that they receive their fair share of the proceeds from the world’s largest cash crop.”
Crimson Cup pays a premium price for the El Socorro Friend2Farmer coffee, ensuring fair compensation to the farmers. The coffee roaster also invests in the health and education of the community as a whole to ensure a sustainable future for the farmers and their families.
Since 2011, Crimson Cup has supported education in El Socorro by donating funds for new school textbooks, desks for a new computer lab and a new playground fence. In 2013, it also sponsored a service learning trip for Ohio State University students, who developed a five-year plan to transform the impoverished village into a thriving coffee enterprise.
About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea
Since 1991, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has hand-roasted specialty coffee in Columbus, Ohio and taught independent business owners how to be successful through its coffee shop franchise alternative program. Sustainably sourced Crimson Cup coffee is available through a network of more than 350 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across 28 states, as well as the company’s own Crimson Cup Coffee House in the Columbus suburb of Clintonville. For more information, visit crimsoncup.com.

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