This International Women's Day, we'd like to highlight our Women Producers coffee offering and the producers of the GARMINDO cooperative.
The Women Producer series was created in 2018 as a way for us to support women coffee farmers as they work to secure a future for their families. Head Roaster, CJ Porter Born, describes the importance of these producer groups:
"In several countries, like some African countries I have learned about, the whole movement of a Women Producer cooperative not only gave the women in the region a safe place to live and work, but also gave them a set of skills that they could use and develop and provide for themselves for the rest of their lives. It had massive social impacts, and also lead to a notable increase in quality in several cases."
It is reported that up to 70 percent of all work done on coffee farms is performed by women. In contrast, their legal representation as landowners and association membership tops out at 20 percent and falls as low as 5 percent in some countries. Magnifying the problem, in many countries, land ownership and even cooperative membership is held only in the husband’s name and is not transferred to the wife upon death or desertion. This leaves many women and families with sometimes hopeless futures.*
In response to this inequity and inequality, we have chosen to create a year-round offering sourced exclusively from women coffee farmers. These producer groups have been selected from a list of associations Café Imports has established within their network of producers. They began their program in 2012, paying members a gender-equity premium on top of the quality-based initial price for their coffees. Through working alongside Café Imports, we gain access to their years of experience and a greater understanding of the social and economic impact this premium makes in each community.
* Learn more from ICO.
GARMINDO cooperative’s full name is the Gayo Arabica Mahkota Indonesia Cooperative, and it is an association that started in 2019 with 625 smallholder farmer members, each of whom owns less than 1.5 hectares of farmland, on average. The association was founded by our partner Sakdan, who owns and operates the Bergandal Farm and Mill. He and his brothers were raised in a coffee-producing family and have long been supporters of their fellow farmers.
GARMINDO also has a women coffee producers subgroup, from whom this coffee comes: The women members typically bring their coffee in cherry form to a collection point where it is de-pulped, fermented underwater for 12 hours, and given a pre-dry before undergoing the Wet-Hulling process. The coffee is dried on patios and typically takes 2–3 days under sunny conditions. It can take up to 7 days when the weather is rainy and humid.