Our women-led initiatives EMPOWER women farmers to become business equals
Despite women playing a crucial role in coffee production, their work is often unpaid and unacknowledged. This gender gap also affects overall coffee quality and productivity, which impacts family welfare.
Enjoy our EMPOWER coffee knowing that you are supporting gender equality programmes to empower women.
Gender equality leads to sustainable development
Gender equality is more than just a basic human right. It acts as a springboard to sustainable development.
We work with our farmer-led partner, Producers Direct to empower women in farming cooperatives to become entrepreneurs, business leaders and higher income-earners. As a result, this spurs productivity and economic growth for the whole farming community, with investment in family’s health, nutrition and education.
This reality translates into a lower likelihood of child labour as well as improved health, water and sanitation.
At the Pangoa cooperative, men and women work in solidarity to improve the social, environmental and financial aspects of the business. This recognition of equality benefits our families and communities.
We are stronger together
Women in agriculture face multiple barriers that limit their ability to earn enough to afford a decent standard of living. Challenges include a lack of access to credit and land, which is exacerbated by low financial and digital literacy, and a lack of access to training in technical skills and knowledge in coffee production.
By harnessing the collective energy of men and women we redress the injustices faced by coffee growing communities. This powerful community plays an important role in safeguarding our natural resources and they have the potential to rewrite the future for sustainable and inclusive coffee production.
Thanks to being paid directly for the coffee that I sell to cooperative, I have been able to educate my children and give them a great start.
How we do it
As a farmer-led non-profit, Producers Direct works directly with farmers in cooperatives to grow their businesses.
We share our profits with Producers Direct, who improve gender equality through:
- Financial investment in women-led enterprises within smallholder farming communities.
- Training led by farmers that helps women improve the quality and yield of the crops they sell and the food they grow for their families. They also learn how to start new enterprises on their farms.
- Low-interest loans and financial services that traditionally women in agriculture cannot access.
- Technology (FarmDirect)that allows for women to sell their products collectively to improve their negotiating power with buyers.
Hear from women farmers
Silvia is a promoter farmer from Producers Direct’s Centre of Excellence in Chirinos, Peru. This role that means that she uses her farm to demonstrate best practice to other farmers. Silvia teaches the whole coffee process and innovations such as solar drying can be used in order to improve coffee yield, quality and incomes. As one of around 200 women at the cooperative, she is part of a strong and growing trend of young female Peruvian coffee farmers gaining recognition for their work.
From this experience, Silvia has learnt about how to stop the spread of pests and diseases amongst her crops, and she is now able to share the best practices with other farmers, and demonstrate low-cost solutions to common coffee farming challenges.
Through our long-term partnership with Huadquiña, the cooperative has been able to support Rosario to obtain her Q grader certificate. This is a professional qualification demonstrating skill in the sensory evaluation of green coffee. Rosario now supervises coffee quality for exportation which has been fantastic for the cooperative who can now charge a premium for their expertly rated high-quality coffee.
Rosario reflects, “I am happy that the Huadquiña cooperative has given me the opportunity to work and now I am contributing to the development of my community in Santa Teresa, Cusco.”
Justine Muhereza from the Mukombe village in Tanzania, worked with Producers Direct to create a beekeeping business. Justine is a coffee and banana farmer and had experience in keeping bees. With Producers Direct’s training, Justine learned how to make money from it. She started a beekeeping project with other beekeepers, and was able to train them in best practice and secured a market for their honey.
With a place to sell the honey, modern beehives and new skills, Justine is confident she can continue to increase her profit from this enterprise.
Justine points out,“Some of the profit I’ve made from selling honey has helped to pay school fees for my children.”
Esperanza Dionisio is CEO of Pangoa cooperative in Peru. Together with Producers Direct she runs a women’s leadership school.
“The women’s programme started in 1997. The main topic of discussion was: how do we improve women’s emotional situation so that they can set boundaries? The solution is self-esteem training, so that rural women are respected. We achieve that by offering regular training sessions with experts that talk to us about values, emotions, sadness and happiness, and topics that influence family harmony. All this helps with good coffee production too.”
Discover our smoothest coffee, medium roasted for a balanced flavour and natural sweetness.