The importance of the women in the coffee industry

Since the begging of the times women have been a natural part of the process in the coffee chain, as a integrant and central character of the family and part of the production process of coffee. From young age they grow up learning different skills that involves coffee, from the picking process, the selection of the coffee cherry, the drying process, the planting coffee process etc.

Their knowledge past from one generation to other as a meaningful tradition.

Lately we have seen that a new generation of empower women stared, where they play a important role as leader and entrust communities, investing in social improvement, quality standards, fair trade, gender equality.

As a result “In Colombia, for example female coffee farmers increased profits while enhancing the environmental sustainability of production and community living standards by marketing female produced Fair Trade coffee.”

A third part of coffee growers in Colombia are women, women had always been the favorites by coffee farmers to pick up the coffee, they know well how to treat the plant, pick up the cherries beans and take care of it, same way they do with their family.

In Cauca there is a important cooperative of women that decided to start a project with their own piece of land, their coffee trees and support woman of the region doing the whole proses from growing the plant to selling the coffee packaged.

“We like the coffee to be well plant, pick up the coffee when is ready, well picked, no unripe bean, only red ones, without the lead, just in the right color, from the planting to the cleaning we always take care of it” – According to Maria Damian member of the cooperative.

The delicate hand of woman is prized in the coffee industry, because of it woman are sought after for the specialty coffee market.

If you reading this article and you wonder how can you help to improve women condition in the coffee business, don’t worry I made a list for you.

  • Every time you buy coffee try to buy direct from the farmer, yes I know it’s  complicated but not impossible. That way we can give the fair amount of profit to farmers and eliminate the fourteen middle men that are between your morning coffee and the farmer that leaves less that $ 0,05 to them.

 

  • Yes also try to buy fair trade coffee, when you do that, $1.40 per pound goes to the farmer, that way you are contributing to price transparency and giving farmers better opportunities of life.

 

  • Please stop buying cheap coffee (behind every cheap product there is always someone that is not earning a fair amount of money). Buying quality coffee beans has an important trickle-down effect. It will help the coffee growing regions to improve their growing and processing practices and the farmer will get a better price for the coffee you paid.

 

  • Educate your self and don’t believe everything you heard, I have been in the Coffee industry for a lot of years and I come from a coffee farmer’s family and I know everything is not as “people say” I know a lot of farmers that don’t get a good price for the good quality coffee and I know roasters and middle men that don’t pay transparent prices for good quality coffee, sadly.

My invitation is to go deeper and be part of the change, now it is our turn, united, to  make our commitment to equity and gender awareness.

In every specialty coffee there is at least a woman involved, this special value is part of the devoted work of a woman.