Honors students Noah Wolfe, Tim McGill and Aly Halbakken are heading to the Clinton Global Initiate University’s annual conference with their nonprofit, Novella, an organization aiming to improve the conditions of coffee farmers in Bagua, Peru.
“The farmers are creating this product, but they are not able to sell it at an economic rate that makes sense because they can’t ship it,’’ McGill said. “The middlemen, who can transport the coffee, are setting the price and making most of the profit. By us coming in and assisting these communities to give their product directly to a source, we’re able to A, give the source a cheaper price than they would be getting with multiple intermediates and B, give most of the proceeds back to the community. Eventually the plan is to give them their own means of transportation by building an air strip, so they can take control of all the orders of production.’’
Presented with an opportunity from the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), the trio are putting the pedal to the metal and focusing their efforts on developing essential relationships, gaining approval from the FDA and Homeland Security and solidifying connections within the Peruvian community. Select attendees of CGI U’s annual conference will have the change to gain $750,000 in funding to assist them in implementing their strategies.
“I think it is awesome to be able to see future world leaders, entrepreneurs and changers in one central location,’’ Wolfe said. “Our goal is A, meet as many people as we can, B, represent the university, private education, and the southwest portion of the United States incredibly well. And then we’ll see where it goes from there. We are really excited. It is a big win for us. We’re hoping to meet people who have a desire to help.’’
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.