Social media is buzzing as the former US President Bill Clinton visits agricultural projects in Haiti, including the Haiti Coffee Academy. The academy is a part of a 30-acre farm and is a collaborative project between coffee roaster La Colombe and the Leslois Shaw Foundation.
La Colombe COO Tobin Bickley explains that the project is designed to “create community resources; improve farmers’ income, training, and agricultural extension services for the surrounding area; and work to advance quantity and quality of coffee yields.” Mr. Clinton’s there with La Colombe founder and Northeast Brewers Cup champion Todd Carmichael, as well as Allegro Coffee green-buyer Darrin Daniel. In March of 2013, the Clinton Foundation committed $700,000 in investments for the Haiti Coffee Academy. According to the Clinton Foundation website, the organization has raised $34 million dollars for Haiti since 2010. Mr. Clinton will be in Haiti for two days, as reported by the Associated Press:
The former U.S. president is to tour a solar-powered school that his private foundation has assisted with trees and gardening. He will also visit a training school for Haitian coffee farmers in a remote village.
Haiti was once a major coffee exporter, but that sector faded due to decades of political instability.
Clinton will also tour a new apparel manufacturer that invests part of its profits in its employees and their families.
Here’s a picture of Mr. Clinton taken by Darrin Daniel via Instagram:
And the helicopter Mr. Daniel flew in on (Bill Clinton flew separately):
Giant helicopters, former presidents, coffee academies – naturally, this is all very exciting. We’re closely monitoring all of the social media feeds as they come in.
This round of tweets came just moments ago via the Clinton Foundation Twitter handle @ClintonFDN:
[UPDATE: 5:40PM February 17, 2014]
We can now confirm that Cafe Imports owner Andrew Miller is also in Haiti. Photo evidence via Noah Namowicz: