Here at DRWakefield, we are extremely passionate about supporting initiatives that aim to make life easier for coffee farmers, which is why we got involved with the Cafe Femenino Foundation.
The charity promotes equality for female farmers producing their own coffees in South America and Africa, as well as providing help to their local communities. It is managed by the Organic Products Trading Company, which is more commonly referred to by the acronym Optco.
Cafe Femenino assists in ensuring that women who grow green coffee beans are paid a premium directly, which can help to significantly boost their quality of life, enabling them to invest in education for their children or put more money into harvesting their crops.
The foundation was born back in 2004, when female farmers in northern Peru approached cooperative leaders to discuss the possibility of marketing their coffee harvests separately to those cultivated by men.
Using the production and sale of their bean yields as a catalyst, Cafe Femenino has helped to bring significant social change to the lives of women working in the coffee industry throughout the world.
Nowadays, the charity works with female farmers in some of the world’s biggest coffee-producing countries, including Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Bolivia, Colombia and Nicaragua.
“Today, the Cafe Femenino Foundation continues to have a huge impact in the daily lives of women around the world and creates greater gender equality in families, cooperatives and communities,” the initiative’s website explains.
For example, charity workers realised a high number of people in certain coffee-growing communities were suffering from eye and lung infections due to cooking indoors. Therefore, the Cafe Femenino Foundation helped to raise money to provide better ventilation systems for their homes, subsequently improving the health of local people.
In addition, the charity has assisted in setting up pre-schools in coffee-producing villages, educated farmers and their families about healthy eating and has worked with the Lions Club to collect old prescription glasses to send to people living in remote communities, improving not only their eyesight, but also their quality of life.
You can find out more about DRWakefield’s work with the charity here.