By IWCA Co-Founders Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow
This is a year in which businesses and nonprofits are reviewing and reimagining the roles that women play within their organizations. As co-founders, we’re pleased that the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) was a pioneer in bringing the role of women in our industry into the national and global spotlight.
In that spirit, the ICO announced that “Women in Coffee” is the theme for International Coffee Day 2018 on October 1.
Supporting Coffee Communities at Origin: Q&A with Grounds For Health, the 2018 NCA Origin Charity of The Year Award Winner
The National Coffee Association is proud to recognize Grounds For Health as the first-ever recipient of the NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award, for their work providing cervical cancer screenings and treatment for women working in the coffeelands. The 2018 award is generously sponsored by Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee, and was presented by Michael Gaviña, NCA Chair, on March 16 at the NCA 2018 Annual Convention in New Orleans.
The NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award is part of the NCA Coffee Gives Back Showcase & Award Program, to recognize the outstanding impact of nonprofits dedicated to supporting coffee communities at origin. (Learn more about NCA Coffee Gives Back Showcase & Award eligibility and application requirements.)
“Our work in the coffee regions of Latin American and East Africa has been supported in great measure by the coffee industry,” says Ellen Starr, Executive Director, Grounds for Health, in the NCA news release. “Our relationship demonstrates just how much social change can be achieved when an industry fundamentally cares about its people at every step of the supply chain.”
Here, Star discusses what it’s like treating one of the greatest health care inequities facing developing nations, her experience working with the coffee community, and how the organization is scaling up.
Why International Women’s Day matters to the coffee industry
Women are essential to the coffee supply chain – but too often their contributions go unrecognized and unrewarded. Disenfranchisement and gender inequity are perpetuated through a myriad of economic, systemic, and cultural issues (from the insidious to the overt).
However, through hard work and persistence, we’re beginning to see a powerful (and empowering) change across the industry. These inspiring initiatives are fueled by new (and overdue) research on women in coffee, which gives us critical data to measure real impact.
But there is still a long way to go.
Gender equity is good for the coffee business.
The Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) believes that vibrant farming communities are the key to producing better coffee, and more of it. Therefore, they’re working to address this issue through large-scale collaboration, standardized best practices, and stronger data – starting with the report, “The Way Forward: Accelerating Gender Equity in Coffee Value Chains.”
During a recent NCA webinar, “Gender Equity: Strengthening the Links of the Coffee Supply Chain,” industry experts Kimberly Easson, Samantha Veide, and Chad Trewick discussed key findings, required resources, and where the industry can go from here.
Four highlights emerged from the research:
“Gender equality is both a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation of an economically prosperous coffee community.”
– Robério Oliveira Silva, former Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization (ICO)
This International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the work of women in coffee, and to advocate for gender equality across the entire supply chain.
But how can the coffee industry go beyond the hashtag and create systemic opportunities for women to thrive?
This post was originally published on Perfect Daily Grind
By Phyllis Johnson, President of BD Imports, and NCA Board Member
IWCA Burundi Team: Benigne Nduwimana, Isabelle Sinamenye, Consolate Ndayishimiye, Euphrasie Mashwabure, Angele Ciza, Seraphine Ngaruko, BD Imports President Phyllis Johnson
Think back to the last coffee you drank. Was it a man or a woman who picked those cherries, who carried them to the drying station, and who painstakingly sorted them? And if it was a woman, did she reap an income from it?
For women in rural coffee communities in certain countries, there’s a high chance that they serve as the primary labor force yet own neither the land nor the fruit. As coffee consumers and importers, this poses some difficult questions for us. What does it mean to have a gender-inclusive coffee supply chain? And how do you construct a program for improvement when policies and cultural norms are not on your side?
These aren’t easy questions, but they do have answers. I’m involved in a program driving gender equality in coffee in Burundi, and I’m here to share the eight key steps that we’re taking. Continue reading
Curated by Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow
Join experts Jane Marvin, Senior Vice President, People and Culture at Peet’s Coffee and Tea; and Henriette Kolb, Head Gender Secretariat, International Finance Corporation for an in-depth in the break-out session titled, “The Business Case for Gender Diversity in the Coffee Sector – Actionable Steps Your Business Can Implement Now” at the NCA 2016 Annual Convention in San Diego, on Friday, March 18, 3 p.m. PDT.
Bring your questions and get the answers you need to foster diversity and inclusion in your company’s workforce. You’ll come away with tips for building the right team, with the right talent for your company’s needs, now and in the future.
For those interested in learning more, here is a curated list of resources on a variety of diversity related topics:
By Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow
“Diversity matters because we increasingly live in a global world that has become deeply interconnected. It should come as no surprise that more diverse companies and institutions are achieving better performance. Most organizations, including [ours], have work to do in taking full advantage of the opportunity that a more diverse leadership team represents, and, in particular, more work to do on the talent pipeline: attracting, developing, mentoring, sponsoring, and retaining the next generations of global leaders at all levels.
“Given the increasing returns that diversity is expected to bring, it is better to invest now, as winners will pull further ahead and laggards will fall further behind.”
Source: Diversity Matters*
Whether you are a wholesale roaster, café chain operator, importer, exporter, grower or supplier of allied goods and services, diversity is important to your business.
Research shows that the definition of diversity is changing and that there is an intergenerational difference – what diversity means to a Millennial is quite different from what it means to a Baby Boomer.
But how do you go about implementing the best team building practices in your own company?
By Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow
As members of the coffee community, why is it essential for us to think about the importance of gender diversity across the global supply chain?
There is a growing body of research that demonstrates the positive impact women make toward prosperity and security around the world. The organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has found that if we close the global gap in workforce participation between men and women, the GDP worldwide would grow by nearly 12% by 2030.
So how do those statistics relate specifically to the coffee sector? Continue reading
Cervical cancer is a nearly 100% treatable disease, and yet in the next 15 years it is expected to kill six million women – 90% of whom will live in developing countries.
By Pam Kahl, Vice President, Communications and Development, Grounds For Health
In the last 18 months, Grounds for Health has quietly reorganized to meet our goal of reaching 50,000 women annually by 2020.
And the results from 2015 indicate that we are starting to realize this vision of scale. Continue reading