Grow Ahead was launched as cross-cultural initiative of Progreso and Cooperative Coffees with an organizational structure that consisted of partnerships between consumers and producers, Roasters and Importers, Banks and NGOs. Grow Ahead initially focused on pre-financing fair trade coffee harvests.
Today, Grow Ahead endeavors to support small family farmers as they address the challenge of climate change in their communities. Small-scale farmer organizations in the developing world are historically under-resourced, with limited access to the capital needed to grow their organizations beyond their day-to-day needs. Grow Ahead intends to bridge the resource and funding gap and will work in 3 key areas moving forward:
- Facilitating a revolving loan program for farmer-developed resiliency projects, such as soil conservation and yield-boosting compost operations.
- Raising funds for annual regional Farmer-to-Farmer exchanges. These exchanges will facilitate farm leaders’ ability to share successes and resources. They will also produce written and multimedia resources, encapsulating farmer experiences and “takeaways” to share with other farmers.
- Providing funds and resources for farm leader “multiplier” agroecology scholarships. Grow Ahead will raise funds earmarked specifically to provide scholarships for farm leaders and trainers to attend farmer-centric agroecology schools.
Grow Ahead is managed by Fair World Project (FWP). FWP is a consumer advocacy organization contributing to the movement to build a just economy that benefits and empowers all people especially those traditionally marginalized in our current system, including small-scale producers, family-scale farmers, and food and apparel workers. FWP is an independent project of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), a 501(c)3 non-profit.