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Media Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802, 443-220-3269 cell, esollie@lwr.org

Lutheran World Relief Coffee Partnership Recognized for Innovative Practices

Baltimore, November 29, 2012— Lutheran World Relief received an award from InterAction’s Best Practices and Innovations (BPI) Initiative, for its work with Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprises (GCCE) in Uganda.

The BPI Initiative annually recognizes organizations that demonstrate successful programming that is efficient, cost effective, equitable to both men and women, sustainable and adaptable by other development organizations. InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), with more than 190 members working in every developing country.

“Lutheran World Relief is pleased to lift up this great example of partnership. Our partnership with GCCE has borne fruit in so many ways — for the organization, its members, and Americans who support this work,” says John Nunes, LWR’s president and CEO.

LWR’s work with GCCE has reached more than 6,000 small holder coffee farmers in Uganda to help improve coffee quality, yields and prices while simultaneously strengthening GCCE as an organization and shaping it into a competitive player in the international organic and Fair Trade coffee markets.

LWR’s work with farmers included training in better coffee-growing practices, training on post-harvest handling to increase value and the provision of equipment to help maintain coffee quality at each step of processing. At the cooperative level, LWR helped GCCE improve its capacity to provide technical support to its farmers, training on financial management and record keeping.

The result of this two-pronged approach — working with farmers to improve crops and processing alongside capacity strengthening work with the cooperative — has yielded impressive results.

In 2007, the year before LWR began working with GCCE, the cooperative had two buyers purchasing three cargo containers of coffee annually. In 2012, GCCE has 13 buyers and a sales projection of 40 containers.

GCCE’s success was recently recognized at an international level when Willington Wamayeye, GCCE managing director, spoke on a food security panel hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the United Nations General Assembly. Wamayeye spoke about the importance of civil society organizations, like GCCE, in helping people living in poverty achieve food security.

The partnership between LWR and GCCE also takes an innovative approach in directly linking Americans to sustainable development projects. Through the LWR Coffee Project, coffee drinkers in the U.S. can directly support GCCE by purchasing Gumutindo coffee from the Coffee with a Lutheran flavor line.

To learn more about LWR’s work with GCCE visit lwr.org.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit lwr.org.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

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