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EarthGroup, Fighting Hunger with Outside the Box Thinking

November 3, 2016

If you had the chance, would you change the world and operate a business at the same time?

 

The Earth Group is an Edmonton based social enterprise that exists entirely to provide food, water, and education to children globally.  This is accomplished through a worldwide partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that sees the company donating 100% of its profits to WFP to fund school meal programmes.  School meals incentivize children to attend school, and break the cycle of poverty, hunger, and child exploitation in the world’s poorest areas.  Critically, they allow children to focus on their studies, rather than their stomachs.

 

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  As the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against hunger, WFP is continually responding to emergencies.  They save lives by getting food to the hungry fast.

 

But WFP also works to help prevent hunger in the future.  They do this through programmes that use food as a means to build assets, spread knowledge, and nurture stronger, more dynamic communities.  This helps communities become more food secure.

 

WFP places specific emphasis on school meals for children.  As well as providing vital nourishment, school meals act as a safety net for poor families and help keep children in school.  School meals are a good way to channel vital nourishment to poor children.  Having a full stomach helps them to concentrate better on their lessons.

 

Founders Kori Chilibeck and Matt Moreau met in 2005 while working in Skiers Sportshop, in Edmonton, Canada.  Through extensive travel their eyes were opened to the dire circumstances in which a large percentage of the world lives.  This gave them both the sense of responsibility to do what they can to create positive change in the lives of people who need it most.

 

 

The concept began in a university apartment and is now a social enterprise with a global presence.  It has experienced tremendous ups & downs, including facing bankruptcy, so Kori & Matt suspended their pay for several years and took on second and third jobs to keep things afloat.  Through this resiliency, came many positives and the company has grown tremendously in recent years. Using innovative marketing tactics and strategic tenacity to constantly sharing their story, Kori & Matt have grown the company from its humble beginnings into an example of how WFP perceives fundraising can be accomplished in the future.  The Earth Group believes that it is more important today how you spend your dollars than how you vote.

 

The company currently markets and sells three products; Earth Water, Earth Coffee, and Earth Tea.

 

Earth Water is bottled local to each of the markets it operates in.  The caps, labels, and bottles are sourced as local as possible, which means the company is able to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.  Rather than shipping a single source globally at a high cost to the environment, Earth Water works with spring and glacial water sources throughout the world.  Earth Water is available in multiple sizes and packaging types globally.

 

Earth Coffee is sourced globally from Eastern Africa, Indonesia, and Central & South America. Earth Coffee works strictly with fair trade, certified organic, rainforest certified alliance growers and farms, which means that the people who farm Earth Coffee are working in safe conditions and are being paid fair, equitable wages.  Coffee buyers regularly visit the farms to ensure that families are being treated well and that communities are given every opportunity to prosper and grow.  Earth Coffee is also available in multiple formats.

 

Earth Tea is one of the only Canadian grown teas on the market.  Grown in Central Alberta, Earth Tea is picked by hand on a site where vehicles are not allowed, in an environment completely isolated from industry and any large populations.  Earth Tea is washed by hand, dried, and packaged on site.

 

Today the company is as strong as it has ever been, with a growing community of supporters nationally & internationally.  In the last few years alone, the company has provided over a million and a half school meals to children globally and is determined to become a dominant global brand that will be at the forefront of solving world hunger.

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