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Brewing Change


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About the Author

Rick Peyser served as Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, where he worked for 27 years. He is a past president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. He served as a member of the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) Board of Directors for 6 years, and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Food4Farmers (a non-profit organization he co-founded), Root Capital, The Coffee Trust, and Project Alianza. Rick co-authored Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (2012), was instrumental in producing the video After the Harvest, and in convening The Coalition for Coffee Communities - comprised of coffee companies working pre-competitively to improve the quality of life for coffee farming families. When not traveling, Rick can be found running marathons, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or playing in R&B bands. Bill Mares is a writer and commentator for Vermont Public Radio. He is also president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, a former high school teacher, and was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991. An avid runner, reader, choral singer, and traveler, he also has a great passion for history, philosophy, and fishing. Mares is the author of many books, including Bees Besieged and Fishing With the Presidents. He lives in Burlington, VT with his wife, Chris Hadsel.


"Newman's Own Organics and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters established a partnership in 2003. I got to know Rick Peyser when our coffee was introduced at McDonald's in New England two years later. Rick is a remarkable, gentle, and selfless man. I've learned more from him about the social and environmental impact of organic Fair Trade coffee than from anyone else. I highly recommend "Brewing Change," about Rick's steadfast dedication to social responsibility and leadership in the coffee industry." - Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman's Own Organics "If a mere 1 percent of the American coffee-consuming public listened to Rick's message, understood the goal of his work, and got on board, coffee communities around the globe would be tremendously affected." - Mausi Kuhl, co-owner Selva Negra farm, Nicaragua "Each and every person has the capacity to make a positive impact on the world. Rick Peyser is living proof that if the world is to change, it will be changed by ordinary people doing extraordinary things." - Bill Fishbein, The Coffee Trust, founder of Coffee Kids "The coffee industry has had plenty of revolutionaries who have provoked change through confrontation and controversy, charging into uncharted territory with grate fanfare. Rick Peyser is a very different kind of revolutionary. He has demonstrated the courage to speak truth to power, but has devoted his energy to building consensus among his peers and convincing them to join him on the long march to lasting change. He has kept his eyes fixed on the prize, and in his extraordinary humility has never insisted on carrying the flag. I am delighted to join my voice to the chorus of celebration for one of the industry's most reluctant revolutionaries." - Michael Sheridan, Catholic Relief Services "For more than twenty years, Rick Peyser has applied himself to the daunting task of moving the needle on rural poverty in coffee-farming communities and has managed to shift the mindset of an entire industry. For anyone who has ever felt that a problem was too massive to solve, there are important lessons to be learned from "Brewing Change." Whatever your challenges are, Rick clearly shows that getting started and staying committed are the keys to success." - Ric Rhinehart, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America "Rick Peyser is an unassuming hero. His passion infectious, humility refreshing, and ethics undaunting. Rick's journey helped transform an industry and move it towards sustainability - especially for coffee-farming families around the world. This book is a testament to the fact that one person can make a difference and that meaningful change is possible." - William Foote, founder and CEO, Root Capital "Rick's story reminds us of another avenue for positive social change. Neither the top-down superstar CEO, nor bottom-up social movement leader filling a plaza with protesters - in this book we find the often overlooked story of a quiet, consistent, and talented man making things happen as the mid-level manager. He will be remembered as someone who listens, learns, and acts. In "Brewing Change," we learn about the inside moves of a man who helped shape the social conscience of an industry, and his long-term struggle to connect business enterprise, ecological sustainability and social justice." - Christopher M. Bacon, professor of environmental politics and policy, Santa Clara University "Everyone who cares about the lives of the farmers who grow the beans for our morning coffee needs to read "Brewing Change." Rick Peyser agreed to write the story of his career at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters not because he has an ego - in fact if he has one, it's hard to find - but because he saw it as a way to give voice to the voiceless and to raise consciousness of the near starvation level circumstances such farmers routinely face. Fortunately, Rick and GMCR are trying to do something about it." Mark Pendergrast, author

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