The Coffee Quality Institute awarded their 2016 Leadership Medal of Merit to Willy Foote, founder and c.e.o. of Root Capital during a luncheon that took place during the Specialty Coffee Association of America Expo in Atlanta. The honor recognizes Foote’s accomplishments in working to alleviate poverty and to foster rural prosperity. According to a release announcing the award, “His vision to enable small scale farmers to produce sustainable, quality products through critical investments, financial management training, and market linkages has had a profound impact on people and communities.”
A blog post following the event noted that Foote emphasized the critical role of high-impact farmer organizations and their leaders, mentioning ASOBAGRI (Guatemala), Cenfrocafe (Peru), Rwashoscco (Rwanda), and Soppexcca (Nicaragua) in particular. Root Capital continues to expand to new regions, including Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Foote was quoted in that post as saying, “My colleagues and I got into this work because we fundamentally believe that investment in sustainable agriculture is one of the most powerful forces we have for addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time – from rural poverty to hunger to environmental degradation to youth unemployment.”
Previous winners of this award include Sunalini Menon (Coffee Board of India), Timothy Schilling (World Coffee Research), Lindsey Bolger (Keurig Green Mountain), and Mr. Sergio Fajardo (Governor of Antioquia, Colombia).
Learn More: http://www.rootcapital.org/