Process: Washed + Sun Dried
Elevation: 1,500 Meters
Harvest: April - September
Aroma: Cashew, Floral, Chocolate
Cupping: Dark Chocolate, Bright Citrus, Maple Syrup
While women have always been crucial to coffee production in Peru, men traditionally held the economic power. In 2004, 464 female coffee producers in Peru united to change this dynamic and take a step toward empowerment. They decided to separate their coffee production from men to gain visibility and a voice inside their community. Working in partnership with OPTCO, they developed a never-before-existing market for women-produced coffee to serve as an important vehicle for social change and the empowerment of poor, marginalized women coffee farmers. Since then, the Café Femenino movement now includes thousands of women farmers from nine countries across the world.
Café Femenino requires participating cooperatives to give their women farmers control of revenues, land ownership, and acknowledgement for their exceptional coffee. With economic control in their hands, the women farmers of Cecanor have used Café Femenino funds to invest in community betterment projects including children’s libraries, schools, health and nutritional education, and programs that build self-esteem, human rights awareness, and literacy.
In elevating their voices, the women are finding solutions to community problems on their own terms. Some notable successes of the Café Femenino Peru Program include: food security, income diversification, and community health.
To fight the adverse effects of malnutrition—including stunting, academic deficiencies, and increase in childhood diseases—the women organize Food Security Workshops to further nutritional understanding and nutritional diversity in their community.
To combat gender inequity within coffee-producing culture, reduce economic dependence on men, and provide women with access to productive resources, the women now breed small animals to sell, grow quinoa for the market, and collect micro-loan funds for micro enterprises led by women.
Schools and Classrooms
Most of the women use the additional income they receive directly to educate their children. Forgoing traditional cultural priorities of educating boys before girls, the women of Café Femenino make sure the girls in their community have an equal educational footing with the boys.
The women have been instrumental in empowering women leaders to be health promoters for remote, hard-to-access communities. These women help with basic first aid, provide reproductive health workshops, and distribute information on screenings for cervical and breast cancer. To reduce smoke-related illness, the women have led an effort to replace old, toxic stoves with elevated stoves that use chimneys to vent the smoke outside.