We are dedicating this month’s blog, to raising awareness for #WomenInCoffee. Coffee plays a vital role in shaping the economy for an estimated 25 million households worldwide. Women are the backbone of global coffee production, accounting for 70% of the labour force, however due to extreme gender inequalities rife in coffee farming and beyond, they receive little to no income.

Many of these women live in male-dominated societies and are predominantly involved in labour work such as field work, harvest, sorting. Sadly, these women have no financial control or decision-making power, further fuelling their poverty-stricken state. In some coffee-producing countries the law restricts ownership rights for women. The irony is by closing the gender gap by empowering women to achieve their full potential, will actually increase the growth of the coffee sector as a whole.

Whilst gender inequality has been a persistent problem in coffee farms, we are starting to see a positive change in the industry largely due to a shift in behaviours, conduct and mindset. In 2015, Gender equality was one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the United Nations as ways of building a better world by 2030. This has paved the way for coffee organisations to make a positive cultural impact via the following channels:

  • Giving Women Farmers a Voice
    • Direct payment for their coffee.
    • Financial & Decision-making power.
    • Leadership Roles.
    • Legal rights to the land on which they farm.
  • Cultivating a Better Future
    • Increase in family income.
    • Recognition for the work they do at home and on the farm.
    • Increase in school attendance amongst girls.
    • Reduction in physical, emotional, and sexual abuse on coffee farms.
    • Increase in men participating in childcare and domestic responsibilities.

Our goal as a coffee industry should be to remove inequality and raise the standards in-line with those of men. The joys of producing Speciality Coffee means that we have a strong relationship with the farmers who share the same values and ethics that we strive to uphold, while building a better future for growers and their families.