Maria Sosa grafts a branch from a healthy cacao tree onto a less productive one.

Solving Problems with Imagination and Courage

Dr. William J. Craft, the newly elected chair of Lutheran World Relief ’s board of directors, is the president of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Here he reflects on his first opportunity to see an LWR project, when he visited coffee and cocoa farmers in Honduras. LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF is perhaps best known for the […]

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Why Coffee and Cocoa Farmers Face Similar Predicament – and Promise

This article was originally published in the December 2015 issue of CoffeeTalk magazine. Just over a year ago, I left Keurig Green Mountain after almost 27 years, and weeks later accepted a new role with Lutheran World Relief where, in my role as Senior Relationship Manager, Coffee & Cocoa, I continue to work with coffee farmers [...]Read More...

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Why Do Coffee & Cocoa Farmers Struggle So Much? A Q&A with Rick Peyser

Coffee and Cocoa are big business around the world. In the United States alone, coffee is the largest food import, and chocolate generates more than $20 billion per year in revenue. Yet many of the world’s coffee and cocoa producers live in poverty. Rick Peyser, Lutheran World Relief’s senior relationship manager for coffee and cocoa, [...]Read More...

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LWR Staff Member Rick Peyser Stands With Coffee Farmers

We’re proud that our very own Rick Peyser was featured in USA Today on Sunday as the man “instrumental in creating the outreach programs for coffee farmers that would allow Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to emblazon its semi-trailers with the slogan, ‘We realized good coffee could be good for the world,’ and actually mean it.” Peyser [...]Read More...

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Where does your chocolate come from? Meet Nevardo.

Almost 90 percent of the world’s cocoa originates from small-scale farmers (producers who farm less than five hectares, or about 12.4 acres, of land). These farmers face considerable challenges to maximize their yields, including changing weather patterns, disease, aging trees and limited access to improved varieties, inputs and technical assistance. On average, they earn less [...]Read More...

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Cocoa Brings Hope to Farmers in the Philippines

Nestled in the green mountains of Mindanao’s Calinan district in northern Davao City in the Philippines, Jowen Joromat tends to a cacao seedling, the plant that produces the beans that will eventually become cocoa. He carefully slits the tip of the seedling, inserting then taping a scion — a piece of stem from another cacao [...]Read More...

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5 things you may not know about cocoa

Chocolate. It’s almost a food group unto itself. Whether you are personally a fan or not, you probably know someone who absolutely loves a rich, delicious piece of chocolate from time to time. That love of chocolate helps spur the global demand for cocoa — a $110 billion per year industry. Think you know all [...]Read More...

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Cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the very first time (video)

The first time I visited Nicaragua — one of the major coffee-producing countries in Central America and a focus of Ground Up: The LWR Coffee and Cocoa Initiative — I was perplexed that the only coffee we had to drink was prepackaged instant coffee. Nowhere in sight were the beautifully bistre roasted beans of the [...]Read More...

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Cocoa Farmers Come Together to Learn & Share

“Cocoa is my passion.” These were among the first words that cocoa farmer Leonor Gomez shared during the two-day National Cocoa Forum that LWR co-hosted in Nicaragua last week. The cocoa forum was a dream that LWR maintained as we expanded our work in cocoa in Nicaragua and other parts of Latin America. Not only [...]Read More...

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What do Farmers Need?

What do Farmers Need? In Uganda, I was told pangas and seeds.  In Colombia it was land titles and roads. In Kenya? Irrigation. In Honduras it was guaranteed buyers and fair prices and in India, access to credit. This is what makes LWR’s work interesting and — frankly — hard. What farmers need in the [...]Read More...

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Could Chocolate Get Any Better?

Apparently yes! And LWR is helping make that possible with our partners in Nicaragua. Last week the country´s first ever international chocolate-tasting competition took place in Managua, Nicaragua. There, seven cooperatives representing hundreds of cocoa producers competed to win the best chocolate award.  Cocoa beans are used to make chocolate, and LWR´s heart is in [...]Read More...

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