This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge.
We recognise that even in 2021, there is still so much work to be done to close the gender gap in coffee. That’s why we’ve made it part of our sourcing model to increase the volume of coffee we buy from female led farms – and last year that amounted to 35% of all the coffee we purchased.
Meet our female growers
Despite the huge contribution women make to the coffee industry, gender inequality is rife. We are working to change this by forging long-term relationships with female growers and purchasing large amounts of their coffee. These are a some of the amazing women we’re working with:
Asomuprisma Women’s Association, Colombia
In Tello, Colombia, coffee farming is everything, with the majority of land being used for coffee farming. However, leadership or ownership opportunities are limited and women are often resigned to domestic roles.
So, a group of childhood friends decided to challenge that. What started as a social group for women in coffee has turned into something much bigger: Asomuprisma Women’s Association. Made up of 22 female producers, their aim is to make women a larger part of the coffee industry and promote sustainability in coffee through the empowerment of female farmers.
We are proud to be actively working with Asomuprisma by running coffee education workshops to help them grow, championing women as leaders in the coffee industry and purchasing high volumes of their outstanding coffee.
Epiphanie Mukashyaka was made a widow by the Rwandan Civil war and genocide. She took on her late husband’s farm and, despite having little knowledge of speciality coffee at the time, she was determined to become an expert.
Epiphanie then launched Bufcoffee - an organisation committed to training and developing Rwandan farmers to grow and sell amazing speciality coffee. She also built her own washing station to further nurture coffee quality in the local community, making her the first woman to own a washing station in Rwanda.
Today Epiphanie is the biggest employer in her community and her coffee has won multiple prestigious awards. We’ve been working with her for many years and in 2020, we purchased 32 cows for the coffee farmers at Bufcoffee. Ownership of a cow provides fertiliser for their farms, nutrition for their families and an additional income source through milk sales. We are delighted to have been able to take this extra step to support coffee farmers in Rwanda.
Drink coffee and make change
Several of the coffees on our Current Menu are from female producers - just look out for the Championing Gender Equality symbol on the product pictures! By continuing to enjoy amazing female-grown coffee, you are also helping to create real change in the coffee industry.