Impact Spotlight: As Green as it Gets
26 May 2015 - coworkingantigua

As Green As It Gets does it all to help local craftsmen, artisans, and coffee farmers throughout Guatemala. They help people out through loans, they help design products and packaging for craftsmen, and help farmers by connecting them to buyers and supplying them with appropriate technology that makes their jobs easier.


This all started back in 2005 when founder Franklin Voorhes travelled to Guatemala and found out about the tremendously low prices that farmers were selling their coffee fruit for after hundreds of man-hours working the fields. Some of the prices were as low as 10 cents a pound, which left the farmers of the fruit in a horrible place after cashing out. So Franklin decided to start a cooperative which would help the farmers of Guatemala in selling their product. One nice story on their website is of Felix Poron, who made more in a day than he had all last year combined. This was a sign that the cooperative would be a great thing, and also that there were many other farmers in the same situation that could be helped.


How does As Green As It Gets (AGAIG) do this? The first step is to identify the specific problems and challenges facing farmers in a certain area. These could be anything from geographic to economic challenges, in a few different scales of severity. After identifying the challenges facing a farmer and his family, As Green then works to find a solution to said challenge. They search for interested importers, perspective buyers, who are willing to pay a fair price for premium green coffee beans. As Green then helps with packaging and shipping, enabling farmers to reach much larger markets. As Green also provides training to farmers, adding new skills and expertise to make their product that much better.


As Green started in coffee, and their roots remain there, but they’ve branched off to helping other small businesses, notably craftsmen, with their model. As Green provides support in a number of different ways, to best help an artist. As Green will help by providing funding for materials, machinery, and technical training to make sure artisans get good-quality products for a fair price, and have the tools to use them. As Green will also help by finding interested buyers both locally and in other countries. They also find ideas that would appeal to certain target markets, which exponentially helps sales, and enables artisans to better support themselves and their families.