In Costa Rica, the IWCA chapter is called Women in Coffee Alliance of Costa Rica (WCACR) or IWC. Organized by 17 women in 2005 with the philosophy “Women helping Women,” today there are more than 30 associate members of the chapter. Members include producers, millers, exporters or roasters representing 17 companies and organizations from the country's seven coffee-producing regions: West Valley, Central Valley, Tres Rios, Turriabla, Orosi, Brunca and Tarrazu.
The WCACR’s goal is to provide women in coffee a voice and vote in political decisions regarding the commodity. The group promotes sustainable development in each community through environmentally friendly means, economically viable methods and socially acceptable activities. All WCACR members have opportunities to learn and improve their knowledge of coffee production and the coffee market.
In order to survive in this ever-changing market, the WCACR continuously operates under the ideals of renovation and innovation for its projects.
The WCACR has participated in Sintercafe, the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Conference, the SCAA Roasters Guild Cupping Pavilion and SCAA Cup of Excellence. Members have been trained in marketing, milling and cupping.
In addition, a WCACR training program helps members increase their coffee knowledge in four areas:
- Coffee Production
- Marketing and Commercialization
Board of Directors:
President Cecilia Genis, Producer and Mill Processor
Vice-President Alba Nidia Rojas, Producer and Administrator
Secretary Kathia Zamora, Producer and Mill Processor
Treasurer Damaris Zarate, Producer
Vocals Jessie Cuevas, Administrator
Melissa Barrantes, Administrator
Fiscal Rosario Mora, Administrator
Created October 2005
Legal Structure April 2006
Signed IWCA LOU November 2005
Current Board Elected November 2011
Next Board Election October 2013
15 active members paying an annual fee
2700 women represented by members
- Registered brand name for AMCCR packaged coffee: "Women's Harvest"/Cosecha de Mujer"
- Helped "Hogar Madre del Redentor home for abused girls 5 - 18 yrs.
- Held monthly board meetings
- Established annual fees for members
- Renovated a fair for Costa Rican products
- Renovated Strategic Planning for 2013- Established a Verification Norm form women in coffee
- Sold women's coffee to U.S.A. with verification of process
Monthly Activities and Ongoing Projects:
- Visits to farms and mill processing plants
- Personal development projects (CoopeAgri and CoppeTarrazu)
- Coffee cupping
- Women's breakfasts and afternoon activities to exchange ideas and get to know each other to affiliate members
Opportunities and Potential Projects:
- Achieve larger membership
- Become well known in the coffee regions of the country
- Establish a better relationship with ICAFE (Costa Rican Coffee Institute)
- Establish a long-term sales connection abroad
- Have Women's Harvest/Cosecha de Mujer in the Costa Rican supermarkets
- Improve our coffee package logo and presentation
- Update and improve our web page www.mujerescafecostarica.org
- Get grant funding for projects
Projects with IWCA:
- Find funds for projects
- Seek funds to send participants to international coffee fairs and activities
“When I joined the AWC of Costa Rica it had just started; and so had I in my career in coffee. It gave me a great opportunity to learn the business. It provided courses in coffee agriculture from plant diseases to what they need to ‘eat’ to grow and be bountiful. Also I was able to learn all about coffee processing and how to continue and even better the quality of the bean. Coffee tasting has been quite an experience –still working at it! I’ve also enjoyed immensely the barista side."