The International Women’s Coffee Alliance partnered with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to host a Buyer Mentor Group (BMG) Meeting for women-owned coffee exporting companies in conjunction with the SCAA in Seattle, Washington April 23-27, 2014. The BMG program is a part of the ITC Global Platform’s commitment to ensuring that women vendors are well prepared to take advantage of trade opportunities and achieve commercial success in various industries. The program seeks to build seller capacity to meet buyer requirements. 

Twenty delegates from eleven countries, including Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, attended the BMG in Seattle. 

The delegation engaged in a full three days of activities, which
aimed to prepare them for future trade opportunities:

  • Business training on how to negotiate with coffee buyers
  • Business and networking opportunities
  • Discussions with David Pohl, Farmer Brothers Director of R&D 
  • Attendance of the IWCA Breakfast and the Coffee Quality Institute Luncheon
  • Attendance of the Coffee Tasting at IWCA/ITC booth
  • A visit to the Caffe Ladro, a local popular café, where the women learned about its buying practices and social programs
  • A visit to the Starbucks Coffee Company for a presentation, coffee tasting, and business meetings

A big thank you to IWCA volunteers, the Coffee Quality Institute, SCAA, Starbucks, Caffe Ladro, David Pohl, and the many coffee industry buyers for providing this opportunity to the BMG delegates.