8 Steps to Building Gender Equity into the Global Coffee Supply Chain

This post was originally published on Perfect Daily Grind

By Phyllis Johnson, President of BD Imports, and NCA Board Member
@PhyllisDJohnson

24818279393_0a9c4e94fc_o-768x559

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

Overcome All: An Open Letter From Jason Redman

The 5 Principles of Elite Performers – and 6 Tenants to Live By

Editor’s note: Jason Redman, former Navy SEAL, author of “The Trident,” and founder of SOF Spoken, delivered the keynote presentation at the NCA 2016 Annual Convention in San Diego. He shared a story about his journey into Iraq and back – immediately putting any bad day at the office in perspective. (Pro tip: “If you’re not being shot at, it’s probably not so bad.”)

convention-logo-cropped

Due to overwhelming response from Convention attendees, we’re posting the following letter Redman wrote to Bill Murray, NCA CEO, following the event. 

Dear Bill and all the amazing members of the NCA:

I wanted thank all of you for your amazing hospitality and FANTASTIC reception I received at the NCA annual conference.

From every company and individual I met, I was treated like a member of the coffee family. Thank you all for allowing me to come in as a keynote speaker and share my story and message. I truly feel blessed to be able to spread my message of the five principles of elite performers.

Due to time restraints I was unable to cover my six tenets that I strive to follow in my personal life, so I have included a summary of both the five principles and six tenets for everyone’s review.

Continue reading

Related Reading: Gender Diversity in Coffee

Curated by Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow

iwca

Photo: IWCA

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:

Continue reading

Q&A: How the coffee sector is mapping a path toward global sustainability

By Molly Bergen

Editor’s note: The 600 billion cups of coffee we consume every year globally start out as berries on trees in the tropics. In the coming years, those trees — and the farmers who harvest and export their beans — will be buffeted by an unpredictable mix of market forces and climate change, threatening the global stability and sustainability of coffee and of the forests and farms that make it possible.

ci_scc_horizontal_final_450pxIn response, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a new initiative launched in part by Conservation International (CI), aims to make coffee the world’s first completely sustainable agricultural commodity. The initiative, still in its formative stages, will begin to take shape at the upcoming World Coffee Conference in Ethiopia.

With major organizations adding momentum to the effort, the next step is providing direction, as Bambi Semroc, a CI senior strategic adviser, explains in the following interview. With forecasts of growing demand and a changing climate, she says, the time to protect this crucial crop is now.

Question: What is significant about how coffee is grown?

Answer: Over centuries, coffee has become a staple in nearly every corner of the world. People drink about 600 billion cups of coffee every year. It’s also a $22 billion global industry that provides essential income for millions of people across the sector, including over 25 million smallholder farmers who also serve as important stewards for the world’s tropical forests.  Continue reading

What is Leadership?

ncacoffee16-burlap-leadership

It is ironic that coffee – a beverage with a history of hundreds of years – is in the midst of a period of unprecedented change. That change has unlocked deeper value and choice for business and consumers – even as it presents unprecedented challenges that continually shape the headlines: Climate change. La roya. Sustainability. GMO legislation. Gender inequality. Volatile prices.

All businesses struggle to identify and train leaders. But for the coffee sector, leaders deal with a complex array of variables, threats and opportunities – making leadership essential for the industry’s future.

This is why the theme for the NCA 2016 Annual Convention is “leadership.” It’s an opportunity for leaders, managers, and professionals to join the conversations that are will fundamentally shape the business of coffee going forward – including at a Pre-Convention Symposium designed to help rising professionals turn technical expertise into effective leadership.

But what is leadership? What does it mean in today’s complex, evolving world?

Here, 5 members of the NCA Board of Directors share why leadership matters to the coffee industry:  Continue reading

The Business Case for Diversity in Coffee

By Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow

diversitybreakoutsession

Source: IWCA

“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?

Continue reading

10 Reasons to Visit San Diego

La Jolla Beach Families -Courtesy Joanne DiBona SanDiego.org

San Diego, CA, consistently ranks as one of the happiest cities in the United States – which isn’t entirely surprising, given the incredible weather, 70 miles of coastline, and renowned craft breweries.

Discover the place for yourself during the NCA 2016 Annual Convention, March 17-19, which will include a pre-conference Leadership Symposium and a luncheon benefiting the International Women in Coffee Alliance.

Until then, here are the top 10 reasons we’re daydreaming about a sunny San Diego escape: Continue reading

The Power of Parity

By Melissa Pugash and Margaret Swallow 

800px-Tata_Coffee_Estate_workers

Photo: IWCA

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

5 Lessons to Live By

Decorated U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jason Redman was critically wounded in 2007 while leading a mission in Iraq. His team was ambushed and he was struck by machine-gun fire at point-blank range.

During the intense recovery that followed, Redman became a symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. In 2013, he released his book, “The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader.”

“When I learned the theme of this year’s National Coffee Association Annual Convention was ‘Leadership in a Changing World,’ I immediately thought of Jason,” says John Boyle, president & CEO, Massimo Zanetti Beverage, USA. “Jason is an inspiration to us – not only because of the selfless sacrifices he made on behalf of this country, but because of his unwavering courage and strength when all odds were against him. Jason never gave up. And his family, who stood by his side and supported him, never gave up.”

“The lesson for all of us is that anything is possible as long as we have a genuine commitment, coupled with the drive and passion, to achieve our goals,” Boyle says. “Successful leaders such as Jason, who exemplify such strength, character, and honor, move others and bring out the best in them so they also can do great things.”

Redman will share his experiences at the 2016 NCA Annual Convention in San Diego, CA, March 19. His keynote presentation is proudly sponsored by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA.

Here, Redman explains the tenets he lives by today.

Continue reading