Women in the coffee industry (and how we involve them)
Picture this- you’re ordering your favorite coffee drink. You observe the barista mindfully grind, press and pull a double shot of espresso and then with careful finesse, you watch them steam milk and pour a beautiful presentation into your cup. But what’s behind this last step in the chain where you are handed your coffee? Who all is involved in the process? Pull back the curtain and you’ll find that women play a major role in the coffee industry- planting, picking, processing, and sorting on coffee farms. In fact as much as 70% of labor on coffee farms is done by women, although women’s legal representation as land owners and association members is significantly lower than men. Women, being at the heart of the process, actually only govern up to 20 to 30% of coffee farms. We see less of the faces of women as roasters, and in the marketing/distribution aspect of coffee. This gap in gender inequity and inequality is perpetuated by women’s limited access to resources, unequal education and training opportunities, as well as how households are run, among other factors.
Things are getting better though and there are ways we as coffee consumers can help the situation too! Informing ourselves about where our coffee comes from is not only interesting but also brings more awareness and appreciation to the source. There are also many organizations and companies working to close this inequality gap by promoting women-run co-ops, as well as working with young women to instill gender equality, training and education. More and more women growers are connecting with women roasters strengthening the bond.
That being said, we at the Roasted Record are very proud to be a part of this thread in the coffee chain- relaying stories and information about the coffee farms we source from, building relationships with different coffee producers, and sharing with you the faces behind the coffee we serve.
Pictured is a photograph of the women at the Ketiara Cooperative, one of the coffee farms we source from