IWCA AT WORK
Since 2003, IWCA has been very busy working to raise the status of women in coffee throughout the world. Beyond our networking breakfasts held annually at the SCAA conference, we now also have an annual lunch at the NCA Conference, fund international grants for projects at origin, and host international conferences.
Temple Coffee Roasters is a retail and coffee roaster based in Sacramento that keeps close ties with coffee origins. The company travels to origin several times per year and has first-hand witnessed the challenges faced by women in coffee. We are honored that Temple Coffee has partnered with IWCA to address the disparity for women in coffee by donating proceeds from their new 100% recycled plastic water bottles to IWCA.
A group of volunteers led by Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak of Haiti Coffee and supported by Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) and USAID’s Farmer to Farmer program traveled to Haiti in June to introduce coffee quality management techniques to Haitian coffee farmers. James Kosalos, president of Cristobal Coffee Importers; Christophe Nicaise, Singing Roster Coffee Roasters; Mery Santos, VP of International Women’s Coffee Alliance; and Gwen Straley, 3rd Creek Consulting brought their breadth of expertise to led the three day training program at the Makouti Training Center in Cap Haitien that included interactive workshops to train the attendees on marketing, sales, harvesting quality coffee and technical skills.
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.
IWCA was proud to be a part of the Women in the World of Coffee: Fostering the “Quiet Revolution” through Education and Access Conference in Triestre, Italy. The conference was sponsored by the Ernesto Illy Foundation and aimed to foster this revolution by providing education and access to the next generation of women in the coffee industry.
We are excited and honored to have Chido Govera as the guest speaker for the IWCA Breakfast at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Expo on April 26. Chido will share her story of overcoming major obstacles in Zimbabwe and how she became a major activist for women and communities worldwide.
Women in the worldwide coffee sector have a special reason to celebrate International Women's Day this year. A new and important window has opened which allows for the construction of a more participative and inclusive coffee sector. During the 112th Meeting of the International Coffee Organization's Council, which was held this week in London, a decision was taken for the IWCA to be a participant on the Private Sector Consultative Board of the ICO. More >
IWCA recently participated in the Coffee Farming Families Enterprise Engagement, workshop held on February 11, 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi, an initiative lead by African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) to include additional support partners such as, International Trade Centre (ITC), IWCA, Hivos, and 4C. Each organization presented their work with a special presentation from Tanzanian farmers involved in a gender-mainstreaming project by Hivos. The workshop brought together more than 50 participants from the public and private sectors to discuss ways to strengthen coffee farming as a family business with a focus on women and youth. IWCA chapter members from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, DRC, and Tanzania attended along with IWCA Vice President Phyllis Johnson. More >
On October 30, 2013, IWCA Vice President Phyllis Johnson represented IWCA at The II World Forum for Local Economic Development, which took place in Foz do Iquaçu, Parana State, Brazil. More than 4,000 participants representing 60 countries came to learn and share best practices on how to expand LED (Local Economic Development) in their countries. The main objective of the II World Forum was to advance the relation between the concept of territorial approach to development, the decentralization and deconcentration policies at national level, and the specific tools for integrating the three dimensions of Sustainable Human Development (SHD).
On October 16, 2013, the Harvard Business School taught the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) case study written by Professor John Deighton Harvard Business School Professor and Mary Johnstone-Louis Oxford Doctoral Candidate. In May of this year the case was taught at Oxford to business owners, policy makers, and others. The HBS experience challenged 900+ eager first-year MBA students to deepen their understanding of the current challenges that women in coffee face. While women often serve as the major workforce in harvest and production, fewer women are involved in trade or decision-making roles, therefore providing less economic stability. The students had to consider the need to utilize marketing as a means of social change.
Prospects for African women coffee producers were given a boost on May 6, 2013 as two African chapters of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) were launched at a reception hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) at the Palais des Nations. The reception marked the end of the first day of the meeting of ITC’s Joint Advisory Group.
The International Women's Coffee Alliance through its relationship with the UN, International Trade Centre entered into an agreement with the University of Oxford to construct a case study about IWCA's work, and how the organization accomplishes its mission. The case studies theme is to "establish local organizations that provide creditability for women as a stakeholder group to improve their entrepreneurship skills and enhance their ability to challenge the institutional bias against women in the global coffee market.” The case study will be taught at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford in London, England on Tuesday, May 21st. The discussion is apart of an event entitled, Women in the World Economy Forum, May 19-21st.