Around the world, women are responsible for up to 90% of the fieldwork of producing coffee – yet on average, they only own 15% of the harvest (International Trade Forum). In an industry already marked by poverty and hunger, it’s women who often suffer the greatest inequities. Yet the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is determined to redress this. And in their latest initiative, which reaches 22 countries, they’re using US $32,000 of equipment donated by award-winning coffee equipment manufacturer Behmor to teach female producers about quality control.
Many coffee farmers have never even tasted the coffee they labour all day to produce. But this isn’t just a sign of the power imbalance in the coffee supply chain: it’s also a barrier to improving coffee quality and so receiving greater prices. Without tasting the coffee they are growing, farmers cannot evaluate coffee quality, put feedback from buyers into context, and run experiments with the aims of achieving price premiums.
Behmor is providing 21 different IWCA Chapters, spread across Latin America, Africa, and Asia, two Behmor 1600 Plus Roasters and one Behmor Brazen Plus Coffeemaker each. This equipment will allow coffee producers to roast and taste their coffee.
Bianca Castro, Chapter Manager of the IWCA, states, “Joe [Behm, CEO & Founder of Behmor] hopes to bring technology to the coffee producers so that they can learn the cup profile of the coffee they are producing. This has been the heart of his intentions when donating this equipment.” [Translated from Spanish to English.]
The equipment is high-quality, with Specialty Coffee Association certification, yet also easy to use, having been designed for home users and prosumers. Additionally, Behmor is producing video tutorials which will help the IWCA Chapters (as well as Behmor’s regular consumers) to use the equipment for the best results.
Behmor are also paying freight and labour for the equipment delivery, at an additional cost of approximately US $3,000. This makes a total donation value of US $35,000. The donation is part of the company’s Behmor Inspired initiative, which has donated US $160,000 of equipment plus shipping over the past 16 months to coffee associations and cooperatives in producing countries.