There is nothing like kick-starting your day with your first, second, or even your third cup of coffee. To a lot of us, it is the most important part of your daily routine. But have you ever wondered about the farmers behind your cup of coffee?
The richest and the finest coffee beans are produced in developing nations, such as South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia; where the climate, soil, sun, and rain are perfect for the rich flavors to flourish. Around 80% of coffee producers are smallholder farmers, where the physical burden of coffee farming and harvesting falls on the women, while the men deal with the sale, marketing, and transportation of the beans.
Unfortunately, these women have no input in the decision-making aspects of the business and do not have access to land nor their credit financial information. This gender inequity prevents these families from fully operating their businesses to their maximum capacity. The unbalanced gender roles lead to poor income distribution, lower quality crops, and an unreliable crop cycle.
Studies have shown, when the women have access to their finances the families are better provided for. By building better foundations and promoting gender equity, a significant amount of change and growth will help the women in this sector, as well as build the community and the industry.
To meet these goals the Partnership of Gender Equity (PGE) has undertaken a well-structured scheme to help promote equity within these smallholder farms. PGE has formed a three-stage plan, where they gather credible data to create strategic, pilot projects, and tool creation and then move to support investments throughout the industry. By doing so it will improve the livelihood of the farmers and at the same time enable all the key levels in the chain, to efficiently achieve the process of bean to brew and boost the supply of quality coffee.
RAW is a founding PGE partner. We strive to positively impact our community, by taking care of our producers, product, and the entire process from start to finish. As a member of this esteemed industry and community, it is our responsibility to help, by spreading awareness and driving the conversation about gender equity, so that we can continue this journey towards sustainability.
To learn more about Equal Origins and how to get involved at:
The Partnership For Gender Equity
Coffee Quality Institute