Coffee’s “Thin Months” Highlighted in Film to Premier at SCAA in Houston April 28-29

20-minute film narrated by Susan Sarandon
The next new thing to discover about coffee might not be in the coffee cup at all. Every year, around the world, small-scale coffee farmers and their families face “the thin months” – months of seasonal hunger following the coffee harvest. In Central America, this period, known as “Los Meses Flacos,” starts just about now and can last for three to eight months.

According to a 2007 study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), most families cope with these months of food insecurity by eating the same foods but consuming less; eating less expensive and lower quality foods; or by borrowing funds and going into debt to purchase food – ensuring the cycle repeats itself. Seasonal hunger is a well-established phenomenon in coffee-growing communities, but not widely known within the coffee industry.

To generate awareness among coffee professionals about the extent of the problem and to help generate industry support for food security initiatives in coffee-growing communities, a new film has been produced focusing on the day-to-day challenges of “the thin months” and projects established to eliminate this annual crisis.

"After the Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands" will be shown three times at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Symposium and Exposition in Houston, TX, April 27-May 1, 2011:
  • SCAA Symposium, Thursday, April 28, 9:00 a.m., Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar, Houston, TX
  • SCAA Expo, Friday, April 29, 9:00 a.m., George R. Brown Convention Center, Section B on Level 3, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, Texas
  • Coffee Kids reception, Friday, April 29, 5:00 p.m., George R. Brown Convention Center, Ballroom B

The film is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, a long-time supporter of Heifer International and its fight against world hunger. The film was funded by The Coffee Trust, with a grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. 

Coffee professionals interested in joining an industry-wide initiative to support efforts aimed at alleviating hunger during the “The Thin Months” are urged to attend one of the film screenings or indicate their interest online at the Contact Us form on the website.  DVDs of the full 20-minute film will be available from Coffee Kids (Booth 625) and Café Femenino (Booth 1143) at the SCAA Expo, or upon request through the Contact Us form on the website. DVDs requested via this form will be shipped after May 1, 2011.

  • Sandra Marquardt, On the Mark PR, 301-592-0077,
  • Sandy Yusen, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., onsite cell: 802-760-0144
  • Laura Peterson, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., onsite cell: 802-373-5242

Click here to download the PDF version of this release.