In an attempt to recognize and promote the work women do growing and producing coffees around the world, we have developed—and seek to expand—a program empowering women along the global coffee supply chain by creating equity, visibility, and access to a wider market.
While the role of women is culturally distinct from region to region within the coffee-producing world, we have created a set of base guidelines for the organizations and communities whose coffees are highlighted in this program, which helps us to work collaboratively with the growers to establish premiums and parameters for their participation.
These coffees come from both women’s cooperatives, and from the women members of mixed-gender cooperatives whose coffees are separated out from the main lots. The coffees score between 85–88 points, and the women are paid a premium per pound for their coffee as part of the Women Coffee Producers program; there is also the potential to develop microlot rewards through this program, for coffees that cup 88 and higher.
The women often choose to apply the premiums to projects in their communities, such as educational efforts and increased health-care access, but there are no stipulations to the use of the funds: The premiums Cafe Imports pays represent a small step toward eliminating the inequity that women face in coffee, and recognizes the specific financial considerations and hardships that women in general face around the world, both within and without the coffee industry.