Women carry out much of the labor in the coffee supply chain, from tending to the farm to processing and sorting, yet receive little compensation for their contribution and direct impact on the quality of the end product. Meanwhile, men overwhelming occupy positions of power in the chain where they are able to capture more of the value of the product, regardless of their labor contribution and potential to improve coffee quality or quality of life for the family.
Given this inequality, we believe that promoting gender equity is not only the right thing to do, but that there is a strong business case for investing in women for the benefit of the entire supply chain. Through our work supporting women farmers with
Equipping women with knowledge and skills in cupping and best production practices improves cup quality and volume. Our internal cupping data even indicates that women-grown lots return a higher cup score than non-women-grown lots from the same cooperative.
We also know that value from coffee returning to women means greater investment in the family, leading to improved livelihoods. Studies show that women invest 90 cents of every dollar they earn in the household; this investment leads to transformational change in coffee-growing communities, increasing supply chain sustainability.
Our story of sourcing women's coffee begins in
With the success of Las Hermanas, we began to seek out and develop relationships with women growers from around the globe, and are fortunate to have developed particularly strong relationships with women farmers in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia that continue to grow. During that time, we've achieved some important milestones:
1. Purchase women-grown spot offerings
To view our current women-grown spot coffees available for immediate purchase, click here.
2. Forward book women's coffeesBelow you'll find a selection of women's coffees you can buy on a forward book basis.
Coocentral’s Mujeres Cafeteras (Women’s Coffee) program started from an initiative to teach and empower 300 women coffee growers in the municipalities of Garzón, Pital, and El Agrado. Through Best Agricultural Practices training, the women learn technical skills in coffee harvesting, fermentation, and drying that they use to develop a differentiated cup profile with added value.
Since 2013 the women of Nyampinga have received training in agronomy, market access, and quality control from Sustainable Growers. The result of the farmer's hard work and enhanced knowledge of coffee production has been a resounding improvement in cup quality. Nyampinga coffees are among finest available in all of Rwanda.
Like many cooperatives, there was a time when Soppexcca struggled with its financial management. However, beginning in the early 2000s, a charismatic and inspiring leader named Fatima Ismael led Soppexcca from a state of debt and low member trust to one of the most successful cooperatives in Nicaragua with solid businesses practices, extremely transparent operations, and progressive initiatives to improve gender equality within the co-op.
COMUCAP is an organization of women growers who formed their own growing collective after suffering from domestic violence and economic insecurity due to gender
3. Donate to non-profit organizations leading the movement for gender equity in coffee
Since 2013, Sustainable Growers has worked in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to help women and their families become professional suppliers of specialty coffee. On the farm, they support agricultural training to women-led cooperatives. Beyond the farm, they teach home roasting, cupping, barista and business skills. Once the coffee cooperatives in their program deliver gourmet coffee at high volumes, they help bring it to consumers. Learn how you can support their work here.
The International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) leads women's empowerment in the international coffee industry by supporting and growing a network of self-organized, self-governing, women-led chapters across the globe. Give a boost to their critical work by making a donation here.
Founded by The Coffee Quality Institute, The The Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) is building an industry-wide movement for greater gender equity in coffee-farming communities around the world. Click here to join the cause.