WOMEN'S COFFEE COOPS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Women play a huge role in food production.
Knowing where your coffee is coming from is an easy way to direct your dollars to small farming families who will benefit. I've just returned from visiting a cooperative in Rwanda, where 158 of the 163 members were women. Caroline's Coffee Roasting, located east of Sacramento, directed me to another women's coffee coop, this one in Indonesia. The coffee got the below write up from Caroline in her blog:
"The full name of this coffee is Java Mountain Women’s Cooperative Pangalengan Ciwidey Grade 1 Fully Washed GrainPro. We’ve shortened it, but let me break down the name for you. The first part is the name of the cooperative of women who are growing this coffee: “Java Mountain.” Then the regions in West Java where the coffee is grown “Pangalengan” and “Ciwidey.” “Grade 1” is the highest grade of Javanese coffee. Then “Fully Washed” is the processing. Finally, “Grainpro” refers to the type of sealed bag the green coffee is packed in. Not the muslin outer bag that you see in the picture above, but the high-quality inner bag that seals the beans.
All of this information gives you an idea about the crop, but what we’re most excited to feature is the two lines you can read on the bag: “empowering rural women” and “handpicked by indigenous women.” We love to feature coffee that is produced by women in the developing world, because when you help women, you help those around them too. Studies by the World Bank show that women invest 90% of their earnings in their families. So, supporting women in coffee also supports the communities around them.
This is the first time that we have featured this coffee, and it is the first time that it has been imported into the United States. You can read about the work that our broker did to import it here and here. This cooperative of 50 women was formed recently, in 2016, and now they are using the money earned from their coffee to “equip women producers with farm management and quality control training; certification assistance; and a nursery program where women will have access to seedlings of coffee, citrus, bananas, timber and rubber trees necessary for diversified farm renovation.” The proceeds of this coffee extend beyond the beans to the entire livelihood of these women.
Congratulations to Caroline's Coffee Roasting and Royal Coffee, the importer, for finding and offering this coffee.