From Invisibility Towards Inclusivity: Building Diversity In the Coffee Industry

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Daiane Vital embracing her mother Vanilda de Souza Vital, south of Minal Geraris Brazil. Photo: Danielle Sereio

“The industry must do a better job at telling coffee’s history, beyond those who carried the bean throughout different parts of the world…”
– Phyllis Johnson, BD Imports, NCA Board Member


In the most recent issue, Roast Magazine published an insightful and important article by Phyllis Johnson, NCA board member and BD Imports president & co-founder.

Strong Black Coffee, Why Aren’t African Americans More Prominent in The Coffee Industry?” features perspectives from 14 black coffee professionals.

The following is a summary of the original piece, with new reflections and an update from Johnson’s recent trip to Brazil during International Coffee Week.

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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

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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

What Does Leadership Mean For the Coffee Industry?

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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.

At the NCA Convention, we talk a lot about professional leaders and industry leadership.

But what exactly does leadership mean today?

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