NEW YORK, March 31, 2010 – The Coca-Cola Company today announced the creation of the Haiti Hope Project, bringing together a coalition of business, government and civil society partners to create opportunity for 25,000 Haitian mango farmers and their families by supporting the development of a sustainable mango juice industry in the country. This five-year project, currently estimated at $7.5 million seeks to double the income of these farmers and to raise their standard of living, while contributing to the long-term development and revitalization of Haiti.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company was joined by Haitian government officials and key stakeholders to announce the Haiti Hope Project at the International Donors’ Conference for Haiti held at the United Nations today, “The Coca-Cola Company has been a part of the Haitian community since 1927 and our local bottling partner, Brasserie de la Couronne, is the largest private-sector employer in the country. Our $3.5 million investment in this partnership will be joined by contributions from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This project is a great example of how lives can be changed when business, civil society and governments work together to build sustainable communities and help to create economic opportunity.”
The Project has garnered support from President Bill Clinton, co-chair of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and currently UN Special Envoy for Haiti, for its long-term commitment to the Haitian people, “The Coca-Cola Company responded to Haiti’s urgent immediate needs with financial support and beverages,” said President Clinton “The Haiti Hope Project goes a step further and exemplifies the innovative role that partnerships with the private sector can play in the reconstruction of Haiti.”
President George W. Bush, also co-chair of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund added that “Coca-Cola has done something positive for Haitians by creating the Haiti Hope Project. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will focus on long-term rebuilding and will continue to promote bottom-up, job-creating investments such as this. I am grateful to Coca-Cola for setting such a fine example.”
The Prime Minister of Haiti, Jean-Max Bellerive, met with Coca-Cola representatives in Haiti earlier in March to discuss the Project. The Prime Minister pledged Haiti’s support for the initiative, stating “Coca-Cola has created the kind of action-oriented initiative that Haiti needs. This partnership will create jobs and new sources of revenue for the people of Haiti. We look forward to working with The Coca-Cola Company, IDB and their partners as we focus our energies on rebuilding our country and achieving sustained economic growth.”
The IDB is the leading source of long-term financing for development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), which focuses on poverty reduction through work with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, has made the Haiti Hope Project eligible for $3 million in funding, and expects to soon obtain its board’s approval for the grant. IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno added, “We are proud to join forces with The Coca-Cola Company in this endeavor, which we hope will become a model of how the private sector can play a critical role in Haiti’s recovery. We call on other corporations to follow their example, helping the Haitian people build a more prosperous future.”
TechnoServe, a nonprofit dedicated to creating income, opportunity and economic growth in the developing world through entrepreneurship, will implement this project in Haiti in partnership with local organizations and the government. TechnoServe will provide the services of its business advisors, who will help Haitian mango farmers grow their crops more efficiently, produce additional crops to boost their incomes, and create businesses that will allow them to access markets.
The Project will also improve the participation of women in fruit production and develop opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish value-adding businesses in the Haitian mango sector. “This Project will produce long-lasting benefits for Haiti,” said TechnoServe President and CEO Bruce McNamer. “This public/private partnership will build on TechnoServe’s strong track record of similar partnerships underway across the world, including banana, cashews, cocoa and coffee. It will bring world-class business and industry expertise to develop the private sector and improve Haitian livelihoods for many years to come.”
Consumers can contribute to this Project by purchasing Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid launched in the United States this month and a similar Odwalla Haiti Hope beverage to launch early summer in Canada — 100 percent of the profits will be directed to the Project. Odwalla is a juice company that for 25 years has lived by three principles: make great juice; do good things for the community; and build a business with a heart. Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid is a delicious blend of Mango and Lime in a refreshing, quencher-style beverage, that may be found at select retailers. Anyone can give directly to the Project, without the purchase of the beverage, by texting “mango” via their mobile device to 50555.
This project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Haitian government, given its significance in the country’s broader rebuilding efforts. It is intended to produce lasting benefits for participating mango farm communities, enabling them to benefit from improved livelihoods for many years to come.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Simply® and Georgia® Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website a www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
In the aftermath of the earthquake, President Barack Obama asked President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to raise funds for high-impact relief and long-term recovery efforts to help those who are most in need of assistance. In response, the two Presidents established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and “build back better.” The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is doing this by working with and supporting the efforts of reputable 501(c)(3) nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. Presidents Clinton and Bush oversee the CBHF through their respective nonprofit organizations, the William J. Clinton Foundation and Communities Foundation of Texas. For more information, visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org.
About the Inter-American Development Bank
Established in 1959, the IDB supports economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing solutions by partnering with governments, companies and civil society organizations. Besides loans, credit guarantees and grants, the IDB offers its clients research, policy advice and technical assistance in key areas such as infrastructure, energy, water and sanitation, education and trade. FOMIN (Multilateral Investment Fund), a member of the IDB Group, promotes poverty reduction through private sector development, with an emphasis on microenterprises and small and medium-sized businesses. For more information, visit www.iadb.org.
TechnoServe is a leader in a movement that empowers people in the developing world to build businesses that break the cycle of poverty. Growing enterprises generate jobs and other income opportunities for poor people, enabling them to improve their lives and secure a better future for their families. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand thousands of businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. The Financial Times has rated TechnoServe one of the top five NGOs for corporate partnerships. Apart from The Coca-Cola Company, TechnoServe’s corporate partners include Cargill, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Nestlé-Nespresso, Olam International, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Unilever, among others. Charity Navigator has also awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe. For more information about our organization, please visit our website at www.technoserve.org.
Odwalla Inc., the nation’s leading natural health beverage company, delivers nourishment coast to coast with the Odwalla family of juices, juice drinks, soy beverages and nourishing food bars. Odwalla has been making juices and innovating in the natural health beverage category for nearly 30 years. Its nourishing beverages and food bars are available in natural food stores, select supermarkets and specialty outlets throughout the country. To learn more about Odwalla products and Odwalla’s commitment to the environment, please visit www.Odwalla.com.