PIER INSTITUTE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMS
Colombian Coffee Company Partners with Customers in the U.S. to Fight Human Trafficking
October 21, 2013
Cafe Montes y Colinas of Medellin (Colombia), Fluid Coffee Bar and NOVO Coffee (both in Denver, Colorado) collaborated this year to bring the Verifica program against human trafficking to central Colombia. The program was implemented in a community where Cafe Montes y Colinas produces much of the gourmet coffee that NOVO and Fluid Coffee often offer to their customers. A staff member from the PIER Institute trained students and teachers in several schools in special tactics to protect themselves, their families, and their friends.
Most importantly, the program is working: within weeks Verifica stopped a case of human trafficking in progress and saved a young man's life.
"These companies used their business relationship to make a positive impact in a community. It is amazing what collaboration can accomplish," said Lucas Velasquez, Global Project Coordinator for the PIER Institute. "We look forward to working with these companies again."
To complete this CSR project, Fluid Coffee and NOVO connected PIER Institute with Café Montes y Colinas, who in turn coordinated with local schools to schedule the launch of program. All three companies contributed resources to make the project happen. Fluid Coffee Bar raised money from its customers through its Sustainability Menu™, an innovative concept that rewards customers for making environmentally sound choices and then shares the cost-savings with both the customers (who receive a discount) and a good cause like Verifica.
(Verifica is a community-based program proven to foil human traffickers and protect communities.)
This is the third time these companies have collaborated with PIER Institute . . . previous projects in 2011 and 2012 supplied local schools and a local library with new books and school materials. Building on this "supply chain" connection, these companies are also assisting PIER with the development of additional projects to reduce poverty and stop traffickers.
The PIER Institute uses business connections like these complete projects with innovative U.S. companies, their foreign suppliers or customers, and nearby communities committed to sustainable development.