Hosted by the ICO, “International Coffee Day is a global celebration of coffee’s long journey from the farm to your local shop — an opportunity to honor the women and men who grow and harvest the coffee we love.”
The seventy-seven member states of the ICO selected “Women in Coffee” as the theme for this year’s International Coffee Day.
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.
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.
“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).
By Phyllis Johnson, President of BD Imports, and NCA Board Member @PhyllisDJohnson
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 →
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:
“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.”
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?