David Hartkop via Crowdrise
June 14, 2012
BENEFITING: SINGING ROOSTER INC
Renewable energy can boost Haitian businesses.
Introducing the Solar Roast Haiti Project
The Colorado business Solar Roast Coffee is partnering with the Wisconsin-based nonprofit Singing Rooster Inc. to bring solar coffee roasting to a coffee farm in southern Haiti. Your donations help to purchase parts and materials to build a solar-powered coffee roaster for Haiti. Your contributions will also enable Solar Roast's founders Michael and David Hartkop to fly to Haiti in order to train with Singing Rooster's Haitian partners.
About Solar Roast Coffee
We're inspired to use our solar coffee roasting technology to help those who need it most. My brother Michael and I started Solar Roast Coffee in 2004 with the idea that we could roast coffee sustainably, using solar energy in place of natural gas or propane. We have designed and built all of our coffee roasters from scratch, and are currently using our fifth-generation roaster, the Helios 5. In the US, solar coffee roasting helps us reduce our carbon footprint and gives us some bragging rights over our competitors. Roasting coffee at Haitian farms using traditional methods is not currently practical due to the scarcity of natural gas and other fuels. We believe that the sun is the most perfect source of energy for roasting coffee in Haiti.
About Singing Rooster
Singing Rooster Inc. is a 501( c )(3) started and run by Molly and Christoph Nicaise. They are passionate and energetic in their cause, and are the original source of our inspiration to look beyond our bottom line. We've worked with them before to roast coffee from some of the Haitian farms they represent. The mission of Singing Rooster is to provide direct assistance to coffee farming communities in Haiti for the sake of self-sustainability, dignity, and economic autonomy. Their business activities include buying and importing Haitian art, importing and trading green (un-roasted) coffee beans, and roasting and selling Haitian coffee in the US. In each case, they use their business connections and activity in the US in order to raise funds that go back to the farmers in Haiti. The Solar Roast Haiti project fits with their goal by enhancing the abilities of the farms they represent. Roasting coffee in the energy-poor farming regions allows farmers in Haiti to enter the roasted coffee market.
How does this project help?
Roasting coffee is an important way to add value to green coffee beans. Roasted coffee can fetch a price that is 2 to 3 times that of un-roasted beans. Adding value through local roasting provides jobs on the farm and also allows the farming cooperative to capture a new market within Haiti. Your support will help to bring a new sustainable industry to a coffee farm in Haiti. Further, this project has the potential to create a new category of coffee-roasting jobs all over Haiti.
About the solar coffee roaster
I have designed a solar coffee roaster specifically for use in rural Haiti. It is based upon well-tested designs that we have used for Solar Roast Coffee here in Pueblo, CO. The machine incorporates easily acquired and replaceable automotive motors and mechanics. I chose to use these parts because the supply chain of automotive parts in Haiti already exists. Using car parts rather than specialty motors means that the solar roaster can be serviced directly by Haitians. The roaster will roast coffee at 450-500˚F in batches of 3 to 5 pounds. This type of solar drum-roaster can produce a new batch of coffee every 20-30 minutes throughout a sunny day. (There are approximately 7-8 hours of useful sunlight on a clear day.)
How can I help?
Simple! Make an affordable donation to the project by clicking the "Donate" button on this website. Even if you can't donate right now, you can still help: Please share this project with anyone you know who may be interested. Also, please consider becoming a partner on Crowdrise. With your help, we can all be involved in making a difference!