GROW Partners With Nebraska’s Largest Environmental Nonprofit To Boost Coffee Sales & Mission


GROW Partners With Nebraska’s Largest Environmental Nonprofit To Boost Coffee Sales & Mission

The Arbor Day Foundation has partnered with GROW Nebraska to boost sales of its Arbor Day Coffee and to help further spread the organization’s mission.

“GROW Nebraska is a wonderful platform to help spread our mission and try some new marketing tools that we have not tried before,” said Kara Ficke, business development manager for Arbor Day Coffee. “We are excited about the partnership to spread the mission of Arbor Day Foundation and introduce Arbor Day Coffee to a growing audience.”

Coffee beans for Arbor Day Coffee are sustainably grown under the canopy of rain forests and then roasted, creating a richer cup of coffee. The Arbor Day Foundation has been producing and marketing the coffee for 20 years, and the sales of the coffee help support the work of the nonprofit foundation to protect and plant more trees.

Conventional coffee farming practices often involve clear-cutting large areas of the rain forest in an attempt to maximize production. This intense method may increase yield and productivity in the short term but ultimately leads to land degradation including soil depletion, loss of plant and animal biodiversity, and frequent landslides…which leads to increased carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and climate change. This is also concerning for the people that call these farms home.

“I think our biggest benefit of our new partnership with GROW is the opportunity to let more people know about the work that is happening at the Arbor Day Foundation and really bring forward the environmental impact that trees have.  Our mission is truly to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees,” Kara said.

Arbor Day Coffee is available through the Foundation’s website, its coffee club, wholesale accounts and through distributors. Kara said she is hoping the new partnership with GROW Nebraska will open up new markets by introducing Arbor Day Coffee to local grocery stores, coffee shops and gift stores. In addition, Arbor Day Coffee is now available on GROW’s Buy Nebraska online store. 

In 2022, the Arbor Day Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary, which will also be the 150th anniversary of the Arbor Day holiday.

“With this anniversary approaching, The Arbor Day Foundation is aspiring to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities around the globe, and we’ll do this by inspiring 5 million tree planters to help carry the mission forward,” Kara said. “The Arbor Day Coffee program will be contributing to this goal.”

Not Just For Businesses

GROW Nebraska CEO Janell Anderson Ehrke said GROW Nebraska works with many nonprofit organizations across the state.

“Most people don’t think of GROW Nebraska as working with non-profits,” Janell said. “Arbor Day Foundation is Nebraska’s crown jewel. It’s thrilling for GROW Nebraska to be working with them to be marketing this phenomenal coffee product and to expand its mission awareness.”

Many other nonprofit organizations, such as the Willa Cather Foundation, the Nebraska Prairie Museum, Water4Haiti and L2Kids, are also GROW members.

In addition to helping spread the word about the Arbor Day Foundation’s mission, Janell said she is also excited about expanding coffee sales to support that mission.

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to provide those growth strategies for the Arbor Day Foundation,” Janell said.

GROW has launched or expanded online shopping opportunities for many businesses, including Dorothy Lynch and Gary’s Quick Steak. Janell said sometimes GROW ships as many as 60 cases a day of Dorothy Lynch salad dressing to places around the country.

“Online shopping is not going to go away,” Janell said. “The more we can also help each other, the better.”

For more information about GROW Nebraska and its membership opportunities, visit

Story by GROW Nebraska member Kristine Jacobson,

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