Dutch Bros Foundation Supports Health Programs in Origin Countries  

June 26, 2020

Before the espresso shot is pulled to make the Dutch Bros signature mocha, the beans are planted, grown and picked by our partners in Brazil, El Salvador and Colombia. Supporting the coffee industry isn’t Dutch Bros’ only focus. The Dutch Bros Foundation has also committed to support health programs in origin countries through Volcafe USA. 

While the origin countries have always been a focus, Dutch Bros is working with the Colombia foundation, Carcafe, for its most recent efforts to assist coffee farmers and their families in Antioquia. The region is in northwest Colombia, an area in the Andes mountains and extending toward the Caribbean Sea. 

The goal of the project is helping families to create a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. It will give opportunity to families, especially women, to support sustainable farming practices which includes growing sustainable coffee, fruits, vegetables and promoting healthy eating habits.

“Our challenge is the twin problems of obesity and malnutrition in rural areas of Colombia. While this is not restricted to Colombia, it’s generally an increasing issue amongst children and adolescents from low to middle-income countries for reasons like the high costs of nutritious food, sedentary lifestyle, and high consumption of caloric food,” said Vivan Vasquez, project manager at Carcafe.

In 2018, the Colombian newspaper, Periódico Portafolio, wrote “In Colombia, 56 percent of the adult population and 6.3 percent of children are overweight or obese, while 10 percent of children younger than four years and 7 percent of children of school age suffer chronical malnutrition.”

Planting around 40 new trees will provide most of a coffee family’s annual food requirements, while planting 6,000 new trees will provide a buffer against extreme temperature fluctuations. During the healthy eating part of the program, families work with a professional chef preparing dishes using the fruit and vegetables they’ve grown at home.

“We place a lot of importance on the role of women in this project. More women and children attend our sessions, and this is the key for their success. Female family members seem better able to ensure knowledge is passed around the family and through generations.  The reason is women attend training sessions with their children, they talk more to their children, and they tend to replicate learnings at home.  In our case, it is women who are in charge of the grocery gardens, of harvesting fruit and vegetables, of attending the cooking sessions and preparing food. Consequently, adoption of practices has been very successful,” said Vivian.

Through this project, Vivian has the opportunity to work closely with three women; Floralba Velez, Paulina Hernandez and Diana Orozco. “Their dedication to this project, both in the design and the implementation, has ensured success in just a few months.”

The contribution that Dutch Bros is making on this project will provide a healthier future for these three women and their communities.